Angelyn Tabalba

NEW POLL: 70% of Nevadans Support Protecting Avi Kwa Ame as a National Monument

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Nevada Conservation League and the League of Conservation Voters released a new poll showing Nevadans support designating Avi Kwa Ame (Ah-VEE kwa-meh) as a national monument. The initial reaction to the Avi Kwa Ame proposal is 60% support and only 10% oppose, with 30% undecided.  Support for Avi Kwa Ame INCREASES to 70% after hearing arguments from monument supporters and opponents, including nearly half (47%) who strongly support the monument destination. Nevadans also stand with members of Congress from Nevada who support designating Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument, with 65% of Nevadans polled saying they would approve of those members of Congress while only 20% disapprove. 

“This poll shows that our locally-led campaign to protect Avi Kwa Ame is gaining momentum across the state,” Paul Selberg, Executive Director of the Nevada Conservation League said. “We need the federal government to designate Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument, which will protect sacred lands for Indigenous tribes, preserve ecological resources, strengthen our outdoor recreation economy, and combat the impacts of climate change.”  

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. Meanwhile, the monument opponents’ attacks fall flat. From supposed land grabs to limiting access or preventing development, none of these messages were convincing to even half of the respondents. 

A coalition of Indigenous and conservation leaders are advocating for a monument designation to permanently protect the areas surrounding Searchlight from the California state border to Lake Mead National Recreation Area (map). The lands feature dramatic peaks, scenic canyons, natural springs, and ancient Joshua tree forests. The area is considered sacred by ten Yuman speaking tribes as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute as it is tied to their creation, history, and well-being. These lands are under threat from vandalism, looting, and development if not protected. 

U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (D, NV-01) and Susie Lee (D, NV-03) support the proposed Avi Kwa Ame national monument and recently sent letters urging the administration to take action. Rep. Titus announced she will introduce legislation and Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft will introduce a resolution in support of the proposed monument for the commission’s consideration. The proposal is already supported by local gateway communities. The Boulder City Council and the Laughlin and Searchlight town advisory boards have all passed resolutions in support of the proposed monument. 

Throughout history, Democratic and Republican presidents have created national monuments to protect special places with ecological and cultural values under the Antiquities Act. The most recent national monument designations in Nevada include the Basin and Range National Monument on July 10, 2015 and the Gold Butte National Monument on December 28, 2016. 

A memo summarizing the key finding is available in English and Spanish and toplines are available here. Garin-Hart-Yang conducted a survey among 601 likely 2022 general election voters in Nevada between January 11 and 15, 2022.  The survey, which was conducted on landlines and cell phones, is representative of Nevada’s demographics in terms of gender, age, and ethnicity, and has a margin of error of +4%.

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