The Bureau of Land Management will host a two-hour public forum Thursday in Mesquite to answer questions and quell rumors about the new Gold Butte National Monument.
Representatives from Clark County, the City of Mesquite and the Virgin Valley Water District will attend the 5 p.m. meeting at Mesquite City Hall, 10 E. Mesquite Blvd.
BLM officials will make a short presentation and then take questions from the audience.
Water district representatives will be on hand to address rumors that the community could lose access to its water rights in the Gold Butte area.
John Asselin, spokesman for the BLM’s Southern Nevada district office, said President Barack Obama’s monument proclamation specifically protects those water rights.
Another common misconception is that the designation restricts access to the area. “Really the main reason for the forum is to get the real information out,” Asselin said.
Obama designated the remote patch of northeastern Clark County, 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas, as a national monument on Dec. 28.
The 300,000-acre area is home to ancient rock art galleries, sweeping desert vistas and twisted fields of pastel-colored sandstone hemmed in by Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon. It is also the site of a long-simmering public land dispute involving rancher Cliven Bundy.
Mesquite is the nearest city to the new monument.