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Basin and Range National Monument is a national monument of the United States spanning approximately of remote, undeveloped mountains and valleys in Lincoln and Nye counties in southeastern
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Ne ...
.Secretary Jewell Applauds President Obama's Designation of Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada: President's Action Preserves Sweeping Landscapes & Ancient Rock Art, Protects Existing Ranching & Military Uses
(press release), United States Department of the Interior (July 10, 2015).
It is described as "one of the emptiest spaces in a state famous for its emptiness."


Creation

The national monument was created by a proclamation issued on July 10, 2015 by President
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, Obama was ...

Barack Obama
under the
Antiquities Act The Antiquities Act of 1906, (, , ), is an act that was passed by the United States Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of the ...
. Obama also signed proclamations creating two other national monuments (the in
northern California Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties, its main population centers incl ...
and the
Waco Mammoth National Monument The Waco Mammoth National Monument is a Paleontology, paleontological site and museum in Waco, Texas, United States where fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths (''Mammuthus columbi'') and other mammals from the Pleistocene Epoch (geology), Epoch have be ...
in central Texas) the same day. Basin and Range was also the second national monument to be created in Nevada in less than eight months; the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument had been designated in 2014. United States Senate, Senator Harry Reid and United States House of Representatives, Representative Dina Titus, both Democratic Party (United States), Democrats of Nevada, were major proponents of protecting the Basin and Range area; before the area's designation by executive action, they had sponsored a bill to protect the Basin and Range area (withdrawing it from mining and other uses) by legislation.Steve Tetreault & Henry Brean
A done deal, Obama to create Basin and Range monument
''Las Vegas Review-Journal'' (July 9, 2015).
The campaign to designate Basin and Range as a national monument had the support of Nevada's largest employer, MGM Resorts International, as well as Wynn Resorts, Barrick Gold Corporation, Rockwood Lithium North America, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Some members of the local population opposed the designation and complained of limited public involvement. The creation of the national monument was applauded by Reid, Titus, and United States Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.Quotes about Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada
NewsOK (July 10, 2015).
The Sierra Club also praised the designation, stating that the area was "a fitting addition to our protected public lands" because it is "one of the best examples of the spectacular basins framed by Nevada’s breathtaking mountain ranges, a resting place for historic artifacts critical to understanding our nation's Native American cultural history, and home to unique plants and animals, some found only in Nevada and this region." Conversely, three Republican U.S. Representatives from Nevada, Mark Amodei, Joe Heck, and Cresent Hardy, condemned the new monument, and Republican U.S. Representative Rob Bishop, the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, called it a "surreptitious land grab" by the Obama administration. The creation of the national monument was a setback for long-controversial plans to open a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.Cy Ryan
Why new national monument could derail plans for nuke dump at Yucca
''Las Vegas Sun'' (July 10, 2015).
Previously, a U.S. Department of Energy study had looked at possible railroad routes to carry radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain and had proposed a Caliente, Nevada, Caliente-to-Yucca Mountain route, of which would run through an area later designated at Basin and Range National Monument. Robert Halstead, the executive director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, said the proclamation of the Basin and Range National Monument was the "final nail in the coffin" of the railroad project and would "really complicate life" for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


Description and significance

The Basin and Range National Monument area has Geology, geological, ecological, cultural, historical, paleoecology, paleoecological, seismology, seismological, archaeological, and paleoclimatology, paleoclimatological significance. The area is located in a transitional region between the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin shrub steppe, Sagebrush Steppe of the Great Basin. Major features within the national monument include: Garden Valley (Nevada), Garden Valley and Coal Valley (Nevada), Coal Valley; the Worthington Mountains, containing the Worthington Mountains Wilderness Area; the Golden Gate Range; the Seaman Range; the Mount Irish Range; the Hiko Narrows; the White River Narrows; and the Shooting Gallery rock art, Shooting Gallery rock art site. Native Americans in the United States, Native American rock art at the site is about 4,000 years old. The national monument consists largely of existing federal lands, managed by Bureau of Land Management of the United States Department of the Interior both before and after the national monument's creation. Within the monument boundary there are privately owned lands including Michael Heizer's ''City (artwork), City'', a massive earth art piece similar in size to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Washington. At the time of the monument's creation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art held a conservation easement over the area of the still-incomplete artwork; the museum plans to donate this easement to the United States when the work is completed. The proclamation allows for continued historic uses of the area (e.g., hunting and fishing) under preexisting regulations. The proclamation also does not affect grazing operations within the monument (including "use of motorized vehicles, construction and maintenance of water infrastructure, and construction of fences and other range improvements"). The proclamation also does not affect U.S. military uses of monument; the military will continue to use the monument's land and airspace for emergency response and military training, training. Fauna of significance in the national monument include desert bighorn sheep, golden eagle, and many species of bat, lizard, and snake.


See also

*Basin and Range Province *Basin and range topography


References


External links


BLM−Bureau of Land Management.gov: official websiteBLM.gov: Map of Basin and Range National Monument
— ''with photos''
Friends of Basin and Range National Monument
{{National Monuments of the United States Bureau of Land Management National Monuments in Nevada Protected areas of Lincoln County, Nevada Protected areas of Nye County, Nevada Protected areas of the Great Basin Protected areas of the Mojave Desert 2015 establishments in Nevada Protected areas established in 2015 National Monuments designated by Barack Obama