Protecting Gold Butte

When I first moved to Mesquite from the east, I really did not have an appreciation of the desert environment. I felt it was dry and baron and lacking diversity. Since moving here, I have made an effort to study and explore our area through reading and hiking. I now realize how very fragile our desert ecosystem is, and how difficult it is for the plants, animals and insects to survive and thrive in our harsh conditions. This appreciation for the fragility of our environment is why I am asking you to continue to support the protection of Gold Butte.

I have hiked through many portions of Gold Butte, and have seen first hand some of the destruction of the area through people’s irresponsible littering of paper, plastic, home articles, tires, also going off trail with ATVs, shooting holes in ancient artifacts and leaving shotgun and bullet casings on the ground.

The current violations are evidence that Gold Butte will continue to be abused if we don’t move to protect it. While the Federal Government is not always seen as the perfect custodian, it has far more resources available than State and Local Governments that are struggling today to balance budgets.

All the various outdoor constituents should be able to enjoy this wonderful area, but each must do it in a responsible and thoughtful manner, to preserve its beauty and health for everyone today and into the future… not just for the benefit of a few special interests. National Parks and federally protected areas receive the publicity and are drawing more and more tourist each year, particularly millenniums who prefer active vacations. This of course would be good for Mesquite, the city that is the gateway to
Gold Butte.

So in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, an avid sportsman, a good businessman and
exceptional leader:
“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.”
“I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”
“Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.”

Your vote today is not just for the people in this room, but for future generations and how we as a city will be defined in the future. I ask you to vote to support protecting our area.

Kathryn McQuade


  1. Tim Castille says:

    My wife and I are residents of Mesquite. I attended the council meeting Tuesday where the council voted to rescind resolutions in favor of protections for Gold Butte. Your newspaper’s article on the meeting had the headline; Long meeting agenda draws out-of-towners. While it is accurate that citizens came from Las Vegas, Moapa and elsewhere this reporting distorts the facts of that meeting. One opponent of protections asked for a show of hands of those in attendance who reside in Mesquite. The result was a clear majority of those present. There were at least 50 Mesquite residents that I know present. Those that I do not know are clearly a much larger number. This is not an issue of out-of-towners coming to Mesquite. My family moved here to retire. We are committed to Mesquite. We will live out our days here. We intend to do all that we can to make Mesquite a better place to live including working to protect that gem of the desert, Gold Butte, for posterity. We were there to make sure that our elected officials know how important this is to us, to influence their deliberations and to encourage them to share our vision for this important natural resource.

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