Outdoor Recreation Advocates Call for Gold Butte National Monument
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
WASHINGTON - Outdoor recreation advocates are in Washington this week to ask President Obama to create four new national monuments - including one that would protect 350,000 acres of desert 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
They're part of the Live Monumental campaign, sponsored by KEEN Footwear - the culmination of a two-month-long RV road trip across the United States, rallying support and gathering signatures for petitions to be delivered to the nation's capital.
Iris Daboda, a tribal member of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, said the land is sacred to her people and should be preserved for all to enjoy.
"Gold Butte is special because it tells the story of past history," she said. "To me, I feel like it belongs to all people, that it's there telling us a story for us to carry it on to our future generations."
The area also is important habitat for desert tortoises, burrowing owls and bighorn sheep. In addition, it features many historic mining sites.
Keith Cozzens, spokesman for KEEN Footwear, said his company chose to feature Gold Butte in this campaign because of its beauty and cultural significance.
"Nevada's Gold Butte offers a plethora of red rock formations where Native Americans flourished for more than 3,000 years," he said. "Visitors can still find artifacts and rock shelters from these ancient times there."
KEEN and local advocates are asking the president to use his powers under the Antiquities Act to declare Gold Butte a national monument.
The petition is online at keenfootwear.com/livemonumental.
Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
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