CBS LOCAL LAS VEGAS- Business leaders form towns close to national monuments across the United States sent a letter to the Trump administration, asking the President not to shrink the monuments’ borders.
Small business leaders from Nevada have signed a letter to the Trump administration asking that national monuments like Gold Butte be left intact. They join hundreds of colleagues from towns near monuments across the nation, arguing that the economic benefits that these pristine locations bring dwarf any revenues to be gained by allowing mining and energy development.
“Mesquite is the nearest incorporated town with services like gas, food and lodging,” said Michele Burkett, a realtor in Mesquite. “And so, we benefit substantially, even in the few short months since it’s been a new national monument,” Burkett said.
Burkett says home values have gone up noticeably since President Barack Obama declared the 300-thousand-acre monument shortly before leaving office. But President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. Interior Secretary to review the size and status of dozens of monuments, and a leaded version of that review has Gold Butte on the list for a size reduction. President Trump is reported to be making an announcement on monument status in early December.
The President has claimed the monuments needed more public input before being designated. But Gold Butte underwent an extended period of public review and years of negotiations with stakeholders. Burkett says Gold Butte serenity, peace and quiet is precious, and needs to be preserved.
“I’m a hiker,” said Burkett. “It’s one of the reasons I treasure Gold Butte so much, is because it’s a wide open space. You can hear yourself think and not have to listen to the busy hub bub of our modern world,” Burkett said.