Gold Butte

March 14, 2016

Protecting Gold Butte

 

Gold Butte is 350,000 acres located between the Lake Meade National Recreation Area and the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.

 

The Bundy standoff was an armed confrontation between protesters and law enforcement that developed from a 20-year legal dispute between the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, over unpaid grazing fees on federally owned land in southeastern Nevada.

 

The Friends of Gold Butte:  www.friendsofgoldbutte.org/

Excerpts from their website:

Due to adverse circumstances, the BLM and all federal land management agencies have halted official activities in the Gold Butte area since April 2014. In the absence of a land management presence, Friends of Gold Butte (FoGB) has witnessed an increasing level of intrusion near historic and cultural sites as well as impacts to sensitive desert areas that are habitat for threatened and endangered species. Between November 2014 and July 2015, FoGB documented significant damage in Gold Butte.

Volunteers have documented an increasing level of damage to the land. The report details multiple instances of vehicle trespass into archaeological and historic sites, sensitive desert areas, along washes and riverbanks, and delicate restoration sites. There is also documentation of an unauthorized water delivery system being constructed across several miles of desert.

“This documented and ongoing damage highlights the urgent need to permanently protect Gold Butte,” said Jaina Moan, Executive Director for Friends of Gold Butte. “Gold Butte is a national treasure of cultural, historic, and natural wonders. Like Basin and Range National Monument, which was established in July, it needs immediate protection to make sure these marvels are preserved for current and future generations.”

 

Areas once littered with pottery sherds and pieces of rock tools have all disappeared. Metates, manos, and arrowheads, all of scientific importance, are vanishing. Rock shelters and habitation sites are sifted through and dug out by those looking for artifacts. ATV tracks cross agave pits churning the blackened earth. Once elusive sites are now driven right up to, crushing plants and creating new routes; changing this landscape forever. Indeed, we are losing this irreplaceable resource at an alarming rate

 

“We are deeply dismayed at the extent of destruction that has occurred in this sacred landscape,” said Darren Daboda, Chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiutes. “Originally included in the historic Moapa River Indian Reservation, Gold Butte is part of our cultural heritage. It is important that we act now to prevent further damage.”

 

 

The Friends of Gold Butte and local Paiute tribes would like to achieve designation of Gold Butte into the National Conservation Lands and assist with the development of the management plan.

Please visit the Friends of Gold Buttes website to read more on getting this land protected, there is also a link to the damage report and future activity happening.

 

 

 

 Bullet holes shot into cliff near petroglyphs

 

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