A growing coalition of Las Vegas residents wants your help to turn a 32,618-acre area in East Las Vegas into a national monument.
If approved, the monument could decrease vandalism and dumping in the area while providing community access to nature for hiking, outdoor recreation, and family picnics.
Located between the edge of East Las Vegas and the entrance to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the proposed monument encompasses Frenchman Mountain, Rainbow Gardens, and The Great Unconformity, a geological oddity with ancient origins.
The land has been home to the Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) peoples for centuries and includes sacred sites like the Gypsum Cave. It’s also the exclusive habitat for Las Vegas bear poppies, an endangered species in Nevada.
The area has also long been a target of illegal trash dumping. The Citizens for Active Management of French & Sunrise Mountain Area (CAM) have attempted to clean up the area in the past, even working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to spread awareness.
The land is currently an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) because of its unique geology and rare plants. Essentially, ACEC designations “highlight areas where special management attention is needed to protect important historical, cultural, and scenic values, or fish and wildlife or other natural resources.”
CAM, which is composed of local residents and county representatives, believes a national monument designation would bring many benefits, including better management of area wildlife and the cultural and recreational aspects of the landscape.
A study by Resources for the Future (RFF) shows that national monuments in the American West have had mostly positive effects on local economies, such as an average 10% increase in nearby business establishments and an 8% increase in jobs.
Designation as a national monument requires legislation from Congress or the approval of the US president. If approved, it would be the fifth national monument in Nevada, including:
- Basin and Range National Monument
- Gold Butte National Monument
- Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
- Avi Kwa Ame National Monument
If you’re interested in showing your support, CAM asks that you sign the petition in favor of the national monument.
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