A Step in the Right Direction: National Parks Conservation Association Calls for National Park Service Protections to Tule Springs

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   March 30, 2012
Contact:   Kati Schmidt, National Parks Conservation Association, Office: 415.728.0840, Cell: 415.847.1768
Lynn Davis, National Parks Conservation Association, Cell: 702.281.7380; Office: 702.318.6524


A Step in the Right Direction: National Parks Conservation Association Calls for National Park Service Protections to Tule Springs

Statement by Lynn Davis, Nevada Field Office Manager, National Parks Conservation Association

 “The National Parks Conservation Association praises the Bureau of Land Management’s announcement today to prevent residential construction on 11,000 acres of land in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley. However, this decision does not effectively protect and enhance what is considered to be one of the most significant Ice Age fossil sites in North America.”

“While the BLM’s decision has stopped plans to allow for the construction of homes over irreplaceable fossils, it’s a far cry from providing the protection and enhancements that would come with a National Park Service designation. The National Parks Conservation Association, together with a wide range of community supporters, continues to advocate that 23,000 acres be transferred from the BLM to the National Park Service, and opened to public viewing and scientific research.”

“Nevada’s Governor, Clark County Commissioners, mayor and city council members of the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, state legislators, elementary and secondary educators, business and tourism leaders, diverse community groups and upwards of 15,000 individuals have joined together to encourage congressional designation of a Tule Springs National Monument. Community and legislative support does not get any better, and bigger than this.”

“The BLM’s long-awaited decision comes after years of evaluating the natural and cultural resources of the Upper Las Vegas Wash.  An abundance of fossils spanning nearly 250,000 years - including intact six-foot long mammoth tusks - have been found in Tule Springs.   This area has attracted scientific interest from around the world, from National Geographic’s ‘Big Dig’ in the 1960s to present-day paleontologists from UNLV and the San Bernardino County Museum.”

Tule Springs National Monument is expected to bolster the area’s tourism appeal, enhance educational opportunities, and attract scientific research. Herds of Ice Age Columbian mammoths once roamed this area, when the landscape was lush. Today, mammoth teeth the size of a human head, gigantic tusks, and the fossilizing bones of extinct species of camels, bison, and ancient horse are prevalent in the arid desert landscape.”

“The broad coalition of community leaders and citizens will continue to pursue designation of a Tule Springs National Monument, and will continue to encourage Nevada’s Congressional delegation to legislate creation of this new tremendous new monument, which, if properly protected, will benefit the Las Vegas area and our tourist economy for years to come.

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Learn more about the community supporters advocating for a Tule Springs National Monument on NPCA's Park Advocate Blog.   


 

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