Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 | 2 a.m.
I was excited to read that Gold Butte has been designated as a national monument (“Gold Butte designated a national monument,” Las Vegas Sun, Dec. 28). Such a designation ensures that the land remains as it is and open for recreation of all sorts, including hiking, off-highway driving, horseback riding, hunting, bird watching and camping. I’ve camped all over Gold Butte and driven all of the roads and most of the ATV trails. I look forward to driving the rest in the new year.
It is disappointing, however, to read that Sen. Dean Heller still opposes protections for this area. Maybe he wants to build a big industrial park out there, but I and 71 percent of Nevadans would rather see it used for recreation and for the protection of historical sites, be they Native American, mining or ranching sites.
I encourage Sen. Heller to join with local businesses, tourism officials and the general public in encouraging a strong and vibrant tourism economy here in Nevada that uses places such as Gold Butte National Monument to keep money in Nevada rather than see it drive up Interstate 15 into Utah to be spent in and around Utah national parks.