September 2, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A rugged wilderness south of Mesquite could soon become the newest national conservation area in Nevada.
Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford introduced a bill Thursday to establish some 350,000 acres of land into the Gold Butte National Conservation Area.
Horsford described Gold Butte as a state treasure that's Nevada's piece of the Grand Canyon, and called for it to be preserved for future generations.
Volunteers have rallied around an effort to formalize Gold Butte, which features slot canyons, sandstone outcroppings and desert wildlife, but no visitor accommodations.
The bill would also promote tourism at Lake Mead, and establish a Virgin Valley tourism council that would include representatives from Moapa, Moapa Valley, Bunkerville and Mesquite.