03 Jan Keen’s Live Monumental Campaign Celebrates Gold Butte Monument Designation
As one of the five landscapes highlighted in its Live Monumental campaign, Keen celebrated President Obama’s move to designate Nevada’s Gold Butte as a national monument.
“We’re proud to stand beside the thousands of Nevadans and Americans alike who recognized the rich, 3,000-year-old history of Gold Butte,” says Casey Sheahan, Keen President. “It is humbling to know it will forever be a place of wonder, of secrets, of recreation, and of refuge for dozens of species who call it home.”
The designation of Gold Butte marks the third success for the Live Monumental campaign – a national movement to rally support for the protection of more than three million acres of public land across the U.S. for their recreation, environmental, historical, and cultural significance. The two other successes came in August 2015 when Boulder White-Clouds in Idaho was designated Wilderness, and in February 2016 when Mojave Trails in southern California was one of three new California National Monuments President Obama designated. The remaining two areas Keen aims to help protect include: Owyhee Canyonlands in OR, and Birthplace of Rivers in WV.
Since its launch in July 2015, the Live Monumental campaign has embarked on a cross-country road trip – logging more than 10,000 miles in a yellow 1976 RV, stopped in more than 25 states, and captured more than 50,000 petition signatures, while rallying support from more than 60 businesses. The campaign has also hosted more than 75 events – including a reception on Capitol Hill in October 2015 – released a short documentary film and 10-stop national film tour in conjunction with Wild and Scenic Film Festival earlier this year, and partnered with the Outdoor Foundation’s Campus Challenge this fall to bring the Live Monumental film to 99 college campuses across the country to engage one million students.
Gold Butte is Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon, located between the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The new Monument features hundreds, if not thousands of ancient petroglyphs, and 360-degree views of colorful canyons, trails, mountains, wildlife, desert landscapes, and dramatic geologic features like red sculpted sandstone and rock spires. Gold Butte’s majestic character and history are now protected for years of exploring, outdoor recreation, and enjoyment.
Using the Antiquities Act passed by Congress and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, President Obama designates Gold Butte as his 26th National Monument. Millions have reasons to celebrate this news as congressional champions such as former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and U.S. Representative Dina Titus (D-NV), the people of Nevada, community groups, Tribes, elected officials, business owners, recreationalists, and thousands of outdoor enthusiasts helped make this monumental designation possible.
“Three thousand years ago, agave was being roasted and petroglyphs were being carved in the rock formations within the Gold Butte area. Today, these agave pits, petroglyphs and the secrets, inspiration, and rich cultural history that define them have been protected,” says Kirsten Blackburn, Keen Effect Communications and Advocacy Manager. “We are incredibly proud to have played a small part in that decision.”