National Monuments: Gold Butte

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National Monuments: Gold Butte
Take action

Mason Cummings, TWS

Protections for Gold Butte threatened

The terrain of Gold Butte National Monument near Lake Mead in southeast Nevada is striking. With red sandstone cliffs and spires sculpted by wind and water, it is Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon. 

Gold Butte contains a wealth of ancient cultural artifacts that tell the story of the Moapa Band of Paiutes. Gold Butte also hosts historic mining and pioneer-era artifacts and provides habitat for threatened wildlife like the Mojave desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep.

Unfortunately, this national monument is threatened by the Trump administration’s proposal to shrink the monument’s boundaries.

Why this place matters

Gold Butte protects prehistoric and pioneer-era artifacts, as well as Native American art and cultural sites. Its beautiful red-rock formations and desert lands offer a special backdrop for visitors seeking to hike, camp, hunt, go birding or ride off-road vehicles (ORVs) on designated trails.

Endangered wildlife
Home to the endangered Mojave desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep.
Ancient fossil sites
Contains fossil track sites believed to be 170 to 180 million years old.
Beautiful rock art
Brightly hued sandstone provides a stunning backdrop for famous rock art.

The threat

Gold Butte’s monument designation helps protect its lands from looting, vandalism and irresponsible recreational activities, such as driving ORVs off designated paths or using plants or artifacts for target practice.

But in April 2017, the Trump administration initiated a review of more than 25 national monuments created since the 1990s. The review, which included Gold Butte, was intended to single out monuments that the Trump administration wanted to reduce in size. 

With formal recommendations made about reducing the size of Gold Butte National Monument, the administration’s review looms over the long-term protections of the treasures found here.

What we're doing

  1. Supporting local wishes for conservation 

    We’re engaging community members to ensure local voices calling for protection of national monuments are respected.

  2. Standing up for monument designations

    We monitor land management planning processes for the monument to ensure that core values of the national monument designation are upheld.

  3. Defending Gold Butte in court

    We view the Trump administration’s unwarranted national monument review and subsequent actions to be illegal and we are contesting them in court.

What you can do
Tell your lawmakers to support Gold Butte National Monument. Sign up for our WildAlert emails today.