Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 9, 2018

Contact: Patrick Donnelly, (702) 483-0449,

Federal Records Sought in Political Meddling With Gold Butte Management Plan

LAS VEGAS— The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a Freedom of Information Act request today seeking public records from the Bureau of Land Management about the abrupt postponement of the Gold Butte National Monument management plan process. The Trump administration has recommended shrinking the monument.

In December the BLM specifically sought public input on management of Gold Butte National Monument as part of the revision of its Southern Nevada Resource Management Plan. However, a Jan. 9 Las Vegas Review-Journal article reported that BLM now is saying Gold Butte is “off the table.”

“BLM did a complete about-face on the Gold Butte management plan, and the public deserves to know why,” said Patrick Donnelly, the Center’s Nevada state director. “Our national monuments are under attack by the Trump administration. The least federal officials can do is be transparent about how these horrendous decisions are being made and who’s responsible.”

Gold Butte National Monument was created by President Obama on Dec. 28, 2016. The presidential proclamation establishing the monument instructs BLM to “prepare and maintain a management plan for the monument” and “provide for maximum public involvement in the development of that plan.”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended stripping protections from portions of Gold Butte as a part of his “review” of national monuments. Trump in December ordered more than 2 million acres eliminated from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. His actions are being challenged by tribes, the Center and other conservation groups.

The decision to suspend or terminate the Gold Butte National Monument management planning process calls into question the future of the monument and BLM’s presence there.

“Zinke’s sham monuments review was a pretense for implementing a radical, anti-public lands agenda pushed by a small handful of Trump donors,” said Donnelly. “We’re seeking these records to shine a light on Trump and Zinke’s efforts to exploit our precious protected lands for private profit.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

More press releases