Protect Nevada, a broad coalition of community and business leaders and conservation organizations, cheered Congressman Steven Horsford Thursday, Jun 6, for introducing legislation to protect Gold Butte and to boost the local economy surrounding this iconic landscape.
“Congressman Horsford really listens to local citizens and has demonstrated that in this legislation,” said Nancy Hall, executive director of Friends of Gold Butte. “We are hopeful that the local stakeholders will join us at the table to ensure its swift passage.”
Horsford’s bill mirrors Sen. Reid’s Gold Butte National Conservation Area Act with protections for Gold Butte. It will designate a nearly 350,000-acre National Conservation Area (NCA) with 129,500 acres of wilderness on public lands just south of Mesquite. In addition, 92,000 acres of lands currently being managed as wilderness within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area will be formally designated.
“With permanent protection Gold Butte and the surrounding areas will become the next outdoor go-to destination in Southern Nevada and the West,” a Project Nevada release noted.
"We recognize the need to capitalize on our recreational tourism opportunities here in Southern Nevada and Gold Butte plays a vital role in continuing to attract more tourists to our area,” said Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association. “We applaud our federal representatives on this bill and look forward to working with them for final passage.”
“Mesquite residents are excited about the possibilities for their town,” the Project Nevada release added. “They also recognize the efforts that Representative Horsford has made to meet the needs of all stakeholders involved.”
“This is the first step in protecting Gold Butte and promoting Mesquite as the Gateway to Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon,” said Frank Pati, Mesquite resident and 2013 Nevada senior citizen of the year. “This is a winning combination for our community.”
The Project Nevada release said, “These protections for Gold Butte will also ensure the fragile landscape is managed in a way to accommodate visitors and also preserve the amazing cultural resources, red rock formations, slot canyons and secret hideaways that make the area so unique.”
“Like Red Rock Canyon, Gold Butte is a national treasure and NCA status will enhance access and protect the area for future generations to enjoy,” added Tom Warden, chairman emeritus of the Outside Las Vegas Foundation and senior vice president of community and government relations for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Thank you, Congressman Horsford.”