The following is a transcript of the video.
Hillerie Patton, former employee of the Bureau of Land Management, North Las Vegas, Nevada: I never thought of myself as an outdoorsy person. I don’t even like to get dirty.
But I love to go to Gold Butte. I love taking that drive out there. I love being there. I love everything about it. You’ll see all these different shapes, but the best thing is when you look over, and you’re actually seeing the blue of Lake Mead, and you combine that with the reds and the yellows.
What’s special for me about Gold Butte is how I feel when I’m there. Whether I’m hiking or whether I’m just sitting out in a chair looking at the stars, I just always feel amazing when I go there. It’s just a beautiful place just to relax.
For decades, you had a lot of people who felt like they could do whatever they wanted at Gold Butte. People were going out there. They were destroying the plants. They were destroying the animal habitat. They were destroying the rock art. They were dumping trash.
The protections are in place to make sure that these things don’t continue to happen.
What the monument designation that came in late December of 2016 did was give it a little bit extra protection, which protected the majority of the area instead of just smaller portions.
The people who feel the most threatened by the designation feel that, in some type of way, there’s some money that is being missed by having these designations in place.
What we want them to understand, it’s about quality of life.
There’s bird-watching. There’s stargazing if you go at night. There’s a lot of great areas where you can camp and hike. People do go out there, and they four-wheel and they dirt bike. There’s many hundreds of miles of designated roads and trails that people can stay on.
When I was a kid in the first grade growing up in Kansas, we learned This Land Is Your Land, and I always remembered that song. When I go out on the public lands, I always think of that song, and whether you’re in Maine or Michigan or New Mexico or Nevada, all of this belongs to all of us, and so I think it’s important that all of us take an active interest in making sure that these areas are here for all of us to enjoy.