We’re uniquely poised to encourage our President to protect more than 3 million acres of our public land by designating Boulder-White Clouds, Gold Butte, Mojave Trails, Birthplace of Rivers and Owyhee Canyonlands as national monuments.
Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior Sally Jewell
President Barack Obama
Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Subject: Please protect the places we play through national monument designation. #livemonumental
Dear President Obama, Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Jewell,
With strong national support and encouragement, you have begun the curation of your Public Lands legacy. From the national monument designations of Brown’s Canyon and the San Gabriel Mountains to a wilderness recommendation for one of America’s last great wild landscapes—The Arctic Refuge—you have generated constituent consensus across the United States for the protection of our public lands for their recreational, ecological and historical values.
The desire to protect the places we all play is evident across the country. We encourage you to continue to act as a visionary for public lands and Americans who enjoy them through the designation of Boulder-White Clouds, Gold Butte, Mojave Trails, Birthplace of Rivers, and Owyhee Canyonlands as national monuments. These five incredible places are an instrumental part of America’s natural and cultural heritage, contribute to regional economies across the United States, and are celebrated and shared resources that Americans enjoy through numerous outdoor recreation activities. The protection afforded through the national monument designation of these places will contribute to the legacy of our country’s public lands and ensure these incredible landscapes remain a proud definition of America.
Boulder-White Clouds, Central Idaho
The Boulder-White Clouds are a sanctuary for threatened animal and plant species and cherished by hikers, hunters, and especially mountain bikers—boasting some of the best biking trails in the world. For decades, Idahoans and other stakeholders across the country have worked tirelessly to protect one of the largest intact landscapes in the Lower 48. Born from this area are the headwaters of much of Idaho’s clean water, water that breeds the farthest and highest-elevation migrating salmon and steelhead and provides many communities, like Sun Valley, with clean, fresh water. This area contains 150 peaks over 10,000 feet tall, as well as the world’s oldest white bark pine tree, clocking in at 1270 years old.
Gold Butte, Southern Nevada
Just over an hour outside of the Las Vegas Strip waits the hidden gem of the Southwest—the 350,000 acre region of Gold Butte. Its historical significance to this country far surpasses that of its Las Vegas neighbor. For over 3,000 years Native Americans flourished in the Gold Butte area, which is evident by the endless artifacts, rock shelters with blackened roofs, and ancient writings dotting the landscape. Gold Butte’s recreation opportunities are endless, and its tourism opportunities positively impact nearby rural communities like Mesquite, Nevada.
Mojave Trails, Southern California
One of North America's most unique landscapes, the Mojave Desert is home to desert tortoises, bighorn sheep, and a wide array of rare and unique species. Like the Gold Butte Region, the Mojave Trails area is also a bridge to our Native American roots, offering hikers an opportunity to engage with a landscape virtually unchanged for thousands of years. While hikers and other human-powered recreationists are drawn to this area, so are those who wish to travel on the historic and scenic Route 66. Protecting this area would also preserve the most pristine, undeveloped remaining stretches of this historic route.
Birthplace of Rivers, West Virginia
High in the Yew Mountains of the Monongahela National Forest six rivers are spawned, connecting a network of communities downstream. This historic intersection of humanity and nature is home to a tightly packed complex of West Virginia’s most iconic and ecologically significant features: the most dramatic vistas, tallest waterfalls and cleanest waterways. Its center is the Cranberry Wilderness, the largest federally designated wilderness area in the Eastern United States. Six rivers are spawned in this area, connecting a network of communities downstream and some of the most important whitewater in the United States.
Owyhee Canyonlands, Southeastern Oregon
This treasured landscape is the largest conservation opportunity left in the lower 48 states—its area twice the size of Yellowstone, our nation’s oldest park. This untouched stretch of the American West is awe-inspiring, featuring sheer 1,000-foot desert canyons, 186 miles of designated Wild & Scenic Rivers, incredible red-rock formations, and rich wildlife, including our nation’s largest herd of California bighorn sheep as well as mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope. The vast rolling sagebrush hills serve as one of the last strongholds for the greater sage-grouse, a species already imperiled due to dwindling habitat. Its recreational opportunities are endless, and the solitude and inspiration afforded to visitors is priceless.
Designating these five places as national monuments would create lasting change. Please ensure Boulder-White Clouds, Gold Butte, Mojave Trails, Birthplace of Rivers and Owyhee Canyonlands are protected for their recreational, inspirational, economic, cultural and historical values for generations of Americans to come.