LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada Sen. Harry Reid wants federal lawmakers to designate almost 550 square miles of remote land northeast of Lake Mead as the Gold Butte National Conservation Area.
The Senate Democratic party leader issued a statement Thursday citing ancient rock petroglyphs, historic mine sites, sandstone formations and wildlife habitat in the area south of Mesquite and bound by the Colorado and Virgin rivers.
Reid calls the site "Nevada's piece of the Grand Canyon."
A group called Protect Nevada welcomed Reid's bill.
Friends of Gold Butte official Nancy Hall pointed to hiking, photography, bicycling and off-road vehicle opportunities.
Reid says the federal Bureau of Land Management would administer the area about 55 miles east of Las Vegas, with about two-thirds designated wilderness.
Roads in the area would remain open for access.
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