Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 17, 2017

Contact: Patrick Donnelly, (702) 483-0449,

Nevada Legislature Affirms Support for National Monuments, Antiquities Act

CARSON CITY, Nev.— In a rebuke of the Trump administration's “review” of national monuments, the Nevada Senate today affirmed the state's strong support for protecting its monuments and the Antiquities Act that created them.

The Nevada Assembly recently passed an identical resolution, which will now be sent to President Trump. Nevada's Gold Butte and Basin and Range national monuments are among the 27 monuments created since 1996 that Trump ordered to be reviewed and potentially revoked.

“The Trump administration is out of touch with reality and with the people of Nevada,” said Patrick Donnelly, a Nevada wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Nevada has demonstrated that we won't stand idly by while our irreplaceable cultural and natural landscapes are under attack.”

Today's resolution, sponsored by Assemblywoman Heidi Swank (D-Las Vegas), states that the Nevada Legislature wants the monuments to remain protected and “supports the enactment and use of the Antiquities Act as a critical tool for protecting the public good by authorizing the designation of national monuments.”

It also points out that outdoor recreation in Nevada generates about $15 billion in consumer spending and brings in roughly $1 billion in state and local tax revenue. Both measures passed on party-line votes.

A 2017 poll showed the vast majority of Nevadans support keeping existing national monuments in place.

Gold Butte National Monument protects nearly 300,000 acres of the Mojave Desert, rich with wildlife including bighorn sheep and desert tortoise. It is a sacred and historic landscape to the Moapa and Las Vegas Paiute Indians, who were instrumental in its designation.

Basin and Range National Monument protects some 700,000 acres of jagged, rocky ridges and expansive valleys in the transition zone between the Mojave and Great Basin deserts. Home to bighorn sheep, elk and deer, and famed for its Indian rock art, it is a destination for sportsmen, hikers and archaeologists.

“Nevadans have spoken loud and clear: We love our national monuments and we will put up a fierce fight to save them,” Donnelly said.

Congress passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 authorizing the president to designate national monuments on federally owned land to protect natural and cultural resources. Over the past century, national monument designations have protected some of the country's most iconic natural and cultural landmarks. About half of the nation's national parks first received protection as national monuments, including the Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Grand Teton.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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