Poll Claims Widespread Support for Gold Butte NCA

May 29, 2012

Mesquite Citizen Journal

Kelly Middendorff, Vice President of Moore Information, a national polling and research firm, was joined today by tourism and business leaders in an analysis of results from a recent survey of southern Nevadans on support for the protection and accessibility of Gold Butte, located between the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument in Arizona, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area, just south of the City of Mesquite. Nevada’s Congressional leaders are evaluating potential legislation that would designate Gold Butte as a National Conservation Area.

The poll shows that a solid majority of southern Nevada voters support this proposal, with 66 percent in favor and only 20 percent opposed. “By a two-to-one margin, voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a proposal to designate the Gold Butte area as a national conservation area with wilderness,” said Middendorff.

The Gold Butte area is almost 350,000 acres of rugged mountains, Joshua tree and Mojave yucca forests, sandstone outcroppings, and braided washes that turn into slot canyons. The ancient remnants of Native American rock art fill the sandstone surfaces with stories from the past. In addition to cultural and historical distinction, Gold Butte offers a plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities, such as camping, wildlife viewing, hiking, hunting, bird watching, biking and off roading on 500 miles of designated routes.

“Protecting Gold Butte is not just good for wildlife and the environment, it’s also good for the Southern Nevada economy. Nevada’s public lands are valuable resources that offer outstanding recreation. Studies have shown that Western counties with protected public lands have greater success at attracting new business, new residents and tourists than regions without conservation areas or national monuments,” said Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association.”

A statement signed by more than 40 local businesses in Clark County strongly encouraged the National Conservation Area designation: “Gold Butte is a scenic treasure that deserves the greater visibility that an NCA designation will ensure. Making Gold Butte more accessible will draw visitors to southern Nevada, provide additional recreational amenities for our own residents and boost the bottom line of hundreds of southern Nevada businesses.”

“Gold Butte is an extraordinary desert location that supports our region’s burgeoning ecotourism industry. BLM lands in Nevada host millions of visitors every year, generating almost $300 million in economic return. Nature lovers, bird watchers, hikers, amateur anthropologists and a host of other outdoor enthusiasts have already discovered Gold Butte, and if we want to maintain and grow this economic opportunity, we must protect it, “said Tom Warden, board chairman of the Outside Las Vegas Foundation and senior vice president for community and government affairs for The Howard Hughes Corporation.

Support for protecting Gold Butte as a national conservation area with wilderness includes local governments such as the Clark County Commission, the City of Mesquite and the Paiute tribe along with conservationists, outdoor recreationists and businesses including the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority, the Nevada Resort Association, the Eureka Casino Resort and many more.


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