Target: Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
Goal: Protect endangered species’ habitats and Native American artifacts in Gold Butte by making it a national monument.
Damage to Native American relics and the environment in Gold Butte, Nevada has increased over the past year. The Antiquities Act allows presidents to declare areas that contain historic artifacts, such as the burial grounds, rock formations, and petroglyphs at Gold Butte, as national monuments without the approval of Congress. Utilizing this legislation would protect Gold Butte, which Congress has refused to save, by appointing a staff to watch the area and prevent the off-highway driving, shooting, and other illegal activity that reportedly takes place on this public land.
Gold Butte sits between Lake Mead National Recreational Area and the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. Most of its 350,000 acres are designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and contain such endangered species as the desert big horn sheep and the Mojave desert tortoise. Land once inhabited by the Moapa Band of Paiutes has been destroyed as chunks of the ancient petroglyphs are now missing or riddled with bullet holes. Irrigation trenches and livestock watering tanks stretch over 22 acres, damaging endangered land and encroaching on wildlife.
This area is also the site of the 2014 standoff between Cliven Bundy, who was illegally grazing his cattle, and the Bureau of Land Management, who is currently responsible for Gold Butte. While Bundy has been arrested, his livestock are still tromping the sacred land and the only way to stop them and other abuses is to put the land under the authority of the National Park Service, which manages national monuments. A poll shows 71% of Nevada citizens want to protect these artifacts and preserve the land. Sign this petition and tell Obama you do, too.
Dear President Obama,
Sacred Native American relics in Nevada are in danger of being destroyed along with the habitats of endangered species. Only you have the power to utilize the Antiquities Act and make Gold Butte a national monument. By doing so, you would be helping to preserve antique petroglyphs, Native American burial grounds, and desert tortoises. The majority of people in Nevada agree that Gold Butte deserves to be kept sacred and so do I.
Thousands of acres of artifacts and natural habitat have already been damaged by off-highway vehicles, bullets, and cattle ranching. Animals are losing their homes and people are losing their culture as there is no one taking care of this area. Show Native Americans that their government cares and that their history matters too by making Gold Butte a national monument.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: BLM Nevada