Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Collecting Gold Butte's History

It is not hard to understand why so many people are taken with the Gold Butte region. It is filled with incredibly beautiful and stunning geologic features. While standing at Whitney Pockets, Devils Throat, Horse Springs, or Hell’s Kitchen it doesn’t take long to be overtaken by the natural beauty and marvel at the earth’s natural process of molding mountains, hills and valleys. This geologic backdrop overlaid with a rich biological community comes together to create one of Nevada’s most beautiful backcountry destinations. However this is only one piece of the landscape that makes Gold Butte so incredible. The cultural history, deep-rooted in Gold Butte’s natural evolution, is a central element to understanding the Sense of Place that all of us have been so captivated by.

The Historic Documentation project was born from a conversation that Elise McAllister and I had about how we could contribute to Public Lands Day in a meaningful way. We wanted to embrace the overall goal of National Public Lands Day, which is to celebrate service and recreation on public lands, but also build on that theme to encourage more long lasting support specific to Gold Butte. Elise and I both share the concern of losing some of the historic features within Gold Butte particularly related to mining, ranching and our pioneer heritage. These pieces of history contributed greatly to the story behind Gold Butte. It is with this mindset that we start this project.

The overall goal of this project is to create a catalog of places within Gold Butte and the stories behind them. Our goal is to ensure that the places and the stories behind them are preserved and accessible. Some have been lost and many are not freely accessible but with this project we hope to begin to recover and collect as much as we can. This project can only be carried out with the help and support of the people who love and enjoy our public lands. We hope to collect hard facts such as names and dates but also personal accounts and your experiences with places out at Gold Butte. Family stories and your personal narratives is what will bring this project to life.

Please try and attend Public Lands Day at Whitney Pockets Saturday morning at 8AM for the kick off to our Historic Documentation Project. However if you cannot make it to Saturdays event, this will be an ongoing project where you can submit stories and information to us any time to improve the project. I will add a page to this site with all the information you will need to help out. Thank you for your support and hope to see you Saturday morning.