FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 21, 2017
Nevada leaders call on Interior Secretary Zinke to support and protect public lands, national monuments
LAS VEGAS, NV—The Center for Western Priorities’ Monuments to America RV road tour stopped in Nevada today, where leaders urged President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to stop the assault on popular national monuments that boost local economies.
During a press briefing at Springs Preserve, business leaders, outdoor advocates, and elected officials discussed how national monuments and other protected public lands help create jobs, support the local economy and define the West’s outdoor way of life.
Jesse Prentice-Dunn, Advocacy Director, Center for Western Priorities:
“The desire to protect some of our most spectacular places is what brings us to Las Vegas. Despite overwhelming public support for keeping national monuments intact, the Trump administration is threatening to eliminate or shrink national monuments, including Gold Butte and Basin and Range.”
Rep. Dina Titus, U.S. Representative, Nevada 1st congressional district:
“National monuments are not just natural treasures; they are an integral part of our culture and our history. Outdoor recreation plays a big part in our tourism economy; it creates 148,000 jobs in southern Nevada and brings in a billion dollars annually in state and local taxes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, an attack on one is an attack on all.”
Rep. Ruben Kihuen, U.S. Representative, Nevada 4th congressional district:
“The Antiquities Act has existed for a hundred years. Presidents of both parties have designated national monuments. I urge Secretary Zinke to reconsider his decision to take way the protected status of Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monuments. As you visit Nevada, take the time to listen to Nevadans, over 70 percent want these places protected. Leave our lands alone.”
Mauricia Baca, executive director, Outside Las Vegas Foundation:
“Our protected public lands are an incredibly important resource for our young people. These national monuments are fundamental to our children’s development today and their future tomorrow.”
Al Martinez, advisory board member, Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO):
“Nevada’s national monuments are where the Latino community goes to hunt, fish, gather our wood, hike, bike, and embark on new adventures. They’re home to our community’s history and future, they must remain protected for future generations to enjoy.”
Fawn Douglas, member, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe:
“Basin and Range and Gold Butte National Monuments are part of my ancestral history. For Nevada’s native peoples, and all Americans, the protection of these monuments is a step forward. This land, my people’s land, is now protected and must be forever.”
Eric Roberts, AIA, principal, SH Architecture:
“It has become evident that young people and the workers of tomorrow desire a place to recreate, a place that inspires and allows them to dream. According to recent polling, 71 percent of Nevadans support national monuments. My own business depends on the protection of Nevada’s monuments, they are our path forward into the 21st century.”
In late April, President Trump issued an executive order instructing the Department of the Interior to review 27 national monuments protected over the last 21 years. Every indication from President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and politicians close to them is that the outcome is preordained and the review will lead to attempts to shrink or eliminate national monuments. Rolling back national monument protections through executive action is an unprecedented, and likely illegal, move that puts all of America’s protected lands, parks, forests and monuments at risk.
The Center for Western Priorities recently conducted an analysis of public comments submitted to the Department of Interior and found 98 percent expressed support for keeping or expanding the national monument under review.
Two of Nevada’s national monuments are among the 27 monuments threatened under President Trump’s executive order.
Basin and Range National Monument encompasses a dramatic landscape of steep climbs followed by long, flat valleys formed by the slow stretching of the Earth’s crust. The area’s ancient rock art was joined in 1972 by Michael Heizer’s famous land art piece, The City.
Gold Butte National Monument protects a rugged desert landscape in Southern Nevada, featuring rock art, sandstone towers and twisting canyons that provide habitat for the endangered Mojave Desert tortoise, along with bighorn sheep and mountain lions.
The Center for Western Priorities’ Monuments to America tour is a six-state RV road-trip highlighting national monuments across the West that are threatened by President Trump’s executive order. The tour, featuring a wrapped RV and oversized inflatable State of Liberty, will conclude at the final Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. Outdoor Retailer is leaving Salt Lake City for Denver after 20 years in protest of Utah politicians’ anti-public lands agenda.
This spring, the Center for Western Priorities launched a multi-state ad campaign encouraging national leaders to respect the heritage and history of America’s national monuments.
Broadcast and print-quality photos, video and audio of the press conference will be available at bit.ly/monumentsmedia.