President Biden declares the country’s newest national monument, which honors tribes, protects wildlife, and supports economic growth
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, President Biden took executive action during the White House Conservation in Action Summit to designate Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in southern Nevada. The national monument encompasses over 500,000 acres, which holds significance for Indigenous communities, protects ecological resources, strengthens Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy, and addresses the climate crisis.
President Biden used his authority under the Antiquities Act to grant permanent protection for Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, the most consequential conservation action of his presidency yet. The monument spans approximately 506,814 acres and will be managed by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Park Service. Avi Kwa Ame is the second monument the President has created using this power, following Camp-Hale Continental Divide in Colorado.
In February of 2022, Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01) introduced H.R. 6751, the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Establishment Act of 2022. That same month, Commissioner Michael Naft also put forward a declaration at the Clark County Commission to support the monument which unanimously passed.
Nevada Conservation League Avi Kwa Ame Campaign Manager Craig Bakerjian released the following statement:
We thank the Biden administration for taking a major step toward fulfilling the promise to conserve and restore our country’s lands and waters to address the climate crisis. We are also grateful to Secretary Haaland, Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen and Representatives Titus and Lee for their efforts to help protect Avi Kwa Ame in southern Nevada.
Today, by designating Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, we can finally honor tribes who hold this place sacred to them and have worked diligently and collaboratively to protect it. We can also protect the home of some of the most stunning, biologically diverse land that is a habitat to the endangered desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep, and some of the oldest, largest Joshua trees on the planet, while providing a boost to Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy.
The protection of Avi Kwa Ame enjoys broad support from conservationists, recreationists, businesses, and gateway communities to protect Avi Kwa Ame and is a testament to the hard work of local leaders and groups, who have worked in collaboration to preserve this vital part of our history and protect it from industrial development proposals.
Today, we celebrate this achievement for our public lands, and tomorrow, we will continue our work with tribes, conservationists, and local communities to protect the natural landscapes that make Nevada home. We hope the President will build on this momentum to preserve vital places for similar communities all across the country.”
Additional information about Avi Kwa Ame can be found here:
The Nevada Conservation League is a proud member of Honor Avi Kwa Ame, a coalition of tribes, local Searchlight, Boulder City and Laughlin residents, state and local elected officials, conservation groups, recreation interests, businesses, and others are working to establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument to permanently protect these treasured lands. Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape. The mountain, located on the eastern boundary of the monument, and the surrounding landscape are sacred to twelve Native American tribes. A full list of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument supporters can be found here.
About Avi Kwa Ame (Pronunciation: Ah-VEE kwa-meh): Sacred to 12 tribes, the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is at the center of Yuman creation stories and spiritual ideology and deserves permanent protection. Located between the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Nevada/California border, Avi Kwa Ame, the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain, could be Nevada’s 4th national monument. Covering over 500,000 acres in southwestern Nevada, it is rich in both history and beauty. The proposed national monument includes petroglyphs; historic mining- and pioneer-era artifacts; rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave Desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep.