LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Today, following the visit of U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to the site of the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, the Nevada Conservation League called on federal leaders to grant its permanent protection.
Nevada Conservation League Avi Kwa Ame Campaign Manager Craig Bakerjian released the following statement:
“Establishing the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument will honor tribes, preserve ecological resources, and strengthen our outdoor recreation economy while heeding Nevadans’ call for meaningful conservation and climate action.
People from around the world travel to visit Nevada to experience our fascinating landscapes, taking part in the state’s growing outdoor economy, which supports nearly 60,000 jobs and contributes more than $5.5 billion per year to statewide economic activity. Additionally, preserving public lands and waters is one of the most cost-effective ways we can fight the climate crisis.
The Secretary’s presence at the proposed monument site and walking alongside members of our coalition gives her the incredible experience to understand this locally-led conservation effort being backed by a diverse group of stakeholders.
Our state is home to an abundance of key environmental areas, historic sites, and culturally important lands, including Avi Kwa Ame. Through its designation, we can tell its story for generations to come. We will continue to call on our federal leaders to support protections for Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.”
The proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument area comprises 443,671 acres in southern Nevada with sites sacred to 12 Native American tribes and some of the most biologically diverse lands in the Mojave Desert. Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain. The Nevada Conservation League is part of a growing coalition of tribes, conservation and recreation groups, business leaders, and elected officials who support the designation of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.
Recent polling data demonstrated that 70 percent of Nevadans support designating Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. Nevadans connect with the reasons to protect Avi Kwa Ame. Preserving ecological (83%) and cultural (82%) resources and creating more outdoor recreation opportunities (81%) are convincing messages in support of designating the monument.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Deb Haaland championed the “30 by 30” initiative, an ambitious goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and water by 2030. During the 2021 State Legislative Session, Nevada became the first state in the nation to pass legislation related to 30 by 30, noting Avi Kwa Ame National Monument as an invaluable contribution toward a state and national 30 by 30 goal.
Earlier this year, the Nevada Conservation League joined Secretary Haaland, U.S. Senator Cortez Masto, and Bureau of Land Management Nevada State Director Jon Raby for a discussion on renewable energy projects on public lands to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector.