LAS VEGAS SUN- Many of us enjoy the abundant outdoor opportunities that the Las Vegas area has to offer, and some of us are even passionately addicted to the mountains, rocks and expansive outdoor vistas.
For some small businesses, like mine, our public lands are also an integral part of our livelihood.
An important day for our public lands is coming up. Friday marks a deadline for people to submit comments for the Southern Nevada resource management plan to the Bureau of Land Management. The RMP will determine how we use our public lands, including Gold Butte National Monument. It defines what we can and can’t do on our public land and outlines management actions for the BLM to follow. And the best part of the plan is that we, the American public who owns the land, have a say in how it’s managed.
To develop a land management plan, the BLM is required to seek the public’s input. The BLM hosts public workshops and/or meetings, providing information about land management and answering questions raised by community members. In addition to the comments shared in workshops/meetings, formal written comments can be submitted to share the public’s knowledge and opinions. It is important that we provide our input about how best to manage our shared public lands.
Friday also marks the first deadline for the public to comment about how the community wants to see Gold Butte National Monument managed.
Gold Butte is a special place. It has abundant antiquities representing 12,000 years of human history. It offers critical habitat for incredible wildlife like the desert tortoise and bighorn sheep. It has fascinating geology, with rock layers that span geologic time.
It is no wonder that this area was protected.
Now, we have a chance to balance the preservation of these treasures with our use and enjoyment of them. We all can use this comment period to shape the way this special land is managed long into the future.
For me, this means being able to showcase Nevada’s newest monument to a community of runners who are passionate about beautiful places and environmental stewardship.
For more than 10 years, I have organized and hosted running events around the Las Vegas area. To put on a race, I must obtain a special recreation permit from the BLM.
The land management plan will address many areas, including how many special permits permits will be issued for an area at a given time, and will outline rules that the permit holder must follow. An SRP ensures that organizers of large events and activities on the land will carry out their operations responsibly, with minimal impact to the land.
Our input to the land management plan will help ensure that responsible, sustainable businesses have the opportunity to operate on the land. We need the plan to help us realize the economic opportunities that businesses can bring to the communities surrounding the monument.
The land management plan addresses a broad range of issues including development, recreation, rights of way for utilities, protection of historic and cultural sites, and preservation of wilderness characteristics. We can all speak to our own experience in our comments. For Gold Butte National Monument, this is the first opportunity to provide feedback about managing the new national monument, ensuring the natural treasures and cultural artifacts are protected as more people visit the area. The plan will outline how we balance the many interests on the land to ensure the preservation of our heritage. We all have a stake in this — not only for ourselves, but for many generations who follow us.