Nevada could lose 2 National Monuments, public comment deadline looming

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A last-ditch effort to make sure Nevada’s newest National Monuments stay that way.

Thursday night, dozens showed up to offer support for Gold Butte and Basin and Range Monuments.

Both, along with 25 other National Monuments could lose their designation after an unprecedented review by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The U.S. Department of the Interior is asking for public comment, but the deadline is looming. The option for public comment closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, July 10 and this was the last public meeting in Nevada.

So far, 1.1 million have commented.

Jaina Moan, the Executive Director of Friends of Gold Butte said, “A threat to one is a threat to all.” She said, “I think that ultimately they want to remove the protections from these lands so they can free them up for other uses; whether those uses be oil and gas drilling or coal mining, they want to extract and sell something from the land.”

Land that was formerly Paiute reservation. Darren Deboda, the Chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiutes said he hopes the public comment is enough, that the land is part of his tribe’s cultural heritage and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep it intact for future generations.

“There’s still culture sites out there that haven’t been found,” he said.

North Las Vegas City Councilman Isaac Barron said he values the land for its beauty and said while the government may see it as a place to extract resources for money, having it designated as a National Monument, in and of itself is also a source of revenue.

“On one hand, we do recognize that perhaps there are resources that can be extracted for wealth. On another hand, the land itself that for instance, through tourism, it’s self-renewing and something that can go on for a long time,” said Barron.

If you’d like to comment, you can still do so online through Monday night.

http://news3lv.com/news/local/nevada-could-lose-2-national-monuments-public-comment-deadline-looming