- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The U.S. Interior Department has received thousands comments about whether President Donald Trump should keep the scenic, ecologically fragile and artifact-rich Gold Butte area in southern Nevada protected as a national monument.

Monday was the last day that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took public comments on Gold Butte, declared by President Barack Obama in December. Zinke asked for feedback on the monument and 26 others as part of a review about whether they were properly established.

At least 35,000 comments mention Gold Butte but some only mention it as a monument under review.

The monument covers 470 square miles (1,217 square kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas.

Gold Butte is perhaps best-known as the grazing area at the center of a cattle round-up and armed standoff in April 2014 involving federal land management agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

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