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Holiday Catalog Spotlights Efforts to Protect Gold Butte

December 13, 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - It's a unique way to spread a plea for wilderness protection in Nevada, and it appears in the colorful pages of a catalog for apparel and gear mailed to more than 800,000 people who love the outdoors. The new Patagonia Holiday Catalog includes a photo of Carrie Sandstedt, Reno, taken in the sand dunes of Gold Butte. She says people are coming up to her every day because of it, and she calls it a great way to spread the word that wild land right outside of Las Vegas needs protection.

"Gold Butte is an amazing place. It's full of Native American, pioneer and mining history, and it's also biologically and ecologically diverse."

Sandstedt is one of five grassroots organizers from around the nation recognized in the Patagonia catalog for doing exceptional work to protect the environment.

Some off-road vehicle users oppose wilderness designation, fearing they will have fewer places to ride, but Sanstedt says no roads will be closed in Gold Butte, and they should actually see benefits from better management and signage there.

"To have Gold Butte protected as a National Conservation Area with Wilderness will help all users of this area, from hikers to off-road enthusiasts, enjoy it in a way that protects and highlights the resource."

Sandstedt hopes Congress will take up Gold Butte in 2011. The Pew Environment Group Campaign for America's Wilderness is working on 20 bills pending in Congress, which together would protect 2 million acres across 13 states with Wilderness designation.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV