The time has come to protect Nevada's Gold Butte region as a national monument. Northeast of Las Vegas, this 350,000-acre area is a fascinating and fragile combination of wildlands where four ecosystems collide: the Great Basin, Mojave and Sonoran Deserts and the Colorado Plateau.
Gold Butte is also vital habitat for endangered and rare species like desert tortoises, kit foxes and burrowing owls -- but without protections for this region, these species may soon disappear. The Bureau of Land Management has allowed illegal and extremely destructive cattle grazing in the region for the past 20 years and isn't about to stop it. This level of mismanagement must end.
Please tell President Barack Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to protect this unique wilderness and the species that call it home by designating Gold Butte as a national monument.
Letter Subject: Please Protect Gold Butte, NV as a National Monument
I am writing to support U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition's July 25 proposal to create Gold Butte National Monument under the National Antiquities Act.
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Ever since President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devil's Tower in Wyoming as America's first national monument our nation has had a long and rich history of Democratic and Republican presidents establishing national monuments to fulfill the promise of the Antiquities Act of 1906, including President George W. Bush's designation of more national monument acreage than any predecessor.
Designating more areas as national monuments under the Antiquities Act is vitally important today in light of the House of Representative's recent attacks on our country's most cherished public lands.
In addition to being home to wonderful paleontological, cultural, scenic and historical resources that deserve protection, Gold Butte is also critically important as habitat for threatened desert tortoises, rare Las Vegas buckwheat, Las Vegas bearpoppy, kit foxes, burrowing owls and many other plants and animals.
Despite Gold Butte's ecological importance, the BLM has intentionally permitted illegal cattle grazing, which is extremely destructive to the natural environment and makes recovering desert tortoises and other species impossible. Furthermore, rampant use by off-road vehicles continues to threaten Gold Butte's species and ecosystems.
Please help protect desert tortoises, kit foxes, burrowing owls and many more of the United States' precious wildlife by designating Gold Butte as a national monument and leave a lasting legacy that future generations can cherish.