Alert: Obama Seizes Bundy Ranch Area in Massive Last Minute Land Grab
by Alex Thomas
Designation of Gold Butte area could lead to another standoff with furious local land owners and patriots across country
(INTELLIHUB) — With a stroke of the pen President Obama has unilaterally declared vast swaths of land in Utah and Nevada as two new national monuments, thus putting them under control of the federal government.
Startlingly, the area in Nevada includes the site of the infamous Bundy Ranch standoff as well as land very close to the Bundy Ranch itself. With this move Obama has possibly triggered another armed standoff while also heading off any moves set to be made by incoming president Donald Trump.
A “fact sheet” put out by the White House reads:
Today, President Obama will designate two new national monuments, protecting sacred sites, spectacular scenery, and important natural and cultural resources in the desert landscapes of southeastern Utah and southern Nevada. The creation of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada follow years of robust public input from tribes, local elected officials, and diverse stakeholders, and draws from legislation introduced in Congress.
In addition to protecting more land and water than any Administration in history, President Obama has taken unprecedented steps to elevate the voices of Native peoples in the management of our natural resources. Today’s actions build on this important work, and further demonstrate the President’s commitment to protecting sacred sites and our land, water and wildlife for future generations.
Gold Butte National Monument
Located in Clark County, Nevada just northeast of the outskirts of Las Vegas, the Gold Butte National Monument spans nearly 300,000 acres and will protect significant cultural resources, important geological formations, and vital plant and wildlife habitat. The monument will provide critical protections for important Native American historical sites, as well as areas that are currently used for traditional purposes by tribes. Notably, the area includes abundant rock art, archeological artifacts, and rare fossils, including recently discovered dinosaur tracks dating back hundreds of millions of years. In recent years these resources have faced increasing damage from threats such as deliberate destruction and vandalism, and today’s designation will help ensure that these cultural and archaeological treasures are better protected.
The monument will serve as an important connection between already protected lands, including Lake Mead Recreation Area and the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument across the Arizona border, protecting key wildlife corridors for large mammals such as desert bighorn sheep and mountain lions, and vital habitat for the threatened Mojave desert tortoise. Additionally, the monument will protect important historic resources. Structures that detail western ranching heritage can still be found in the Gold Butte area, as well as an early twentieth-century abandoned mining town and sites associated with Spanish explorers from the late eighteenth century.
Today’s action follows decades of local support from tribes, local stakeholders and conservationists, and draws from legislation that was first introduced in 2008.