What does a wilderness designation mean and how is wilderness valued in our society? What qualifies an area to become wilderness? We will explore the answers to these questions and others at the Friends of Gold Butte kick-off Speaker Series event at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at the Mesquite Community Theatre.

“We feel that wilderness is an important topic for the community of Mesquite,” said Jaina

Moan, Executive Director for the Friends of Gold Butte. “We want our audience to hear how and why wilderness is valued in our society.”

The Friends of Gold Butte invited two guest speakers. Dr. Geoffrey Frasz is a professor of environmental ethics at the College of Southern Nevada. Dr. Frasz will explain the philosophy of wilderness and how a land ethic has shaped differing attitudes towards wilderness in our society. Jose Witt is the Southern Nevada Project Manager from the Friends of Nevada Wilderness. Mr. Witt will explain legal definition of a wilderness area and introduce us to the two wilderness areas that are located in Gold Butte, Jumbo Springs and Lime Canyon wilderness areas. The program will be approximately 45 minutes followed by an opportunity for Q&A and discussion.

“We want to stimulate respectful, civic discussion about wilderness in our community and we invite anyone interested to join us,” said Tom Cluff, Vice-President of the Board for the Friends of Gold Butte.

The Gold Butte Speaker Series in Mesquite is a monthly event held September-November and January-April each year. Topics in the series focus on educational, scientific, cultural, and recreational issues relevant to the Gold Butte region. The schedule for the Fall 2015 series also includes a presentation about hummingbirds from John Hiatt of the Red Rock

Audubon Society on October 21, 2015 and a presentation about the geology and fossils found in Gold Butte from Geologist Marc Deshowitz and Tom Cluff on November 18, 2015.

All presentations are held at the Mesquite Community Theatre, 150 N. Yucca St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Presentations start at 7 p.m. There will have door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.

Presentations are free and open to the public. More information and schedule can be found online at http://www.friendsofgoldbutte.org/events-2/education-program/.

About Friends of Gold Butte:

Friends of Gold Butte is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization with a mission to achieve permanent protection for Gold Butte’s biological, geological and cultural resources through education, community outreach and advocacy.