|Survey shows overwhelming support of Gold Butte conservation|
|Written by Wild Nevada|
|Thursday, 24 May 2012 10:24|
A variety of businesses and conservation groups held a press conference in Las Vegas this morning to release the results of a new survey showing overwhelming support for designating Gold Butte in southern Nevada a National Conservation Area with Wilderness.
The survey of Clark County voters showed they favored protecting additional public lands in Nevada as wilderness by a better than 2-to-1 margin, and 66 percent favored making Gold Butte a National Conservation Area.
It gets better. According to pollster Kelly Middendorff of the polling firm Moore Information, the NCA proposal for Gold Butte is popular among men and women of all ages throughout the county. Democrats and Republicans. Hunters, hikers, campers, mountain bikers and off-road enthusiasts. Everybody likes the idea. Voters who occasionally or frequently use Nevada public lands for off-road vehicle recreation activities – typically a group that doesn’t favor wilderness proposals – were especially in favor of the Gold Butte National Conservation Area with Wilderness idea, with 73 percent saying they supported it.
What’s more, dozens of businesses have lined up to support the proposal, and many turned out for the press conference to voice that support. Among them was Virginia Valentine of the Nevada Resort Association, Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and Anne Miranda of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce. As Goldsmith noted, Las Vegas has become a gateway to the West for international travelers, and one of the attractions for these visitors is the scenic wonder of our area, including Gold Butte.
In general, permanently protected landscapes are good for the economy, including jobs and property values.
The Mesquite City Council recently reaffirmed its support of the idea after many Clark County residents turned out to voice support for the NCA with wilderness.
You have to wonder at this point what Nevada’s Congressional delegation is waiting for. Legislation for making Gold Butte a National Conservation Area with Wilderness is in the hands of Rep. Joe Heck, who has discussed the proposal with local interests but hasn’t come forward yet with a bill. He needs to do that immediately. Maybe you can drop him a line?
Although the Gold Butte NCA with Wilderness idea still has opposition from a handful of people in Mesquite and Moapa Valley, Rep. Heck must have made note of one finding from today’s survey: When asked if they would be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate who supported the Gold Butte proposal, two-thirds of the voters surveyed said they would support that candidate.