Press Release Mar 7, 2023

President Biden Poised to Establish Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada

"Avi Kwa Ame National Monument honors the Native Americans who have long called for preservation of their cultural heritage, and we look forward to President Biden taking historic action." -- Theresa Pierno, NPCA’s President and CEO

Washington, DC – In response to recent news that President Biden will visit Nevada next week to establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in southern Nevada, the National Parks Conservation Association issued the following statement:

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA):

“Supporters of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument have been eagerly waiting for President Biden to protect this special and sacred landscape, as he committed to nearly 100 days ago. Avi Kwa Ame National Monument honors the Native Americans who have long called for preservation of their cultural heritage, and we look forward to the President taking historic action.

“NPCA has been privileged to work on the ground with tribes and partners in Nevada and beyond for more than a decade, in support of protecting this irreplaceable landscape.

“Amid the worsening climate crisis, the long-term health of Joshua trees and other plants and wildlife in this region is inextricably linked to conserving critical lands. Designating Avi Kwa Ame National Monument furthers our country’s desert conservation legacy and connects a vibrant, rich landscape that stretches from Lake Mead in Nevada to Mojave National Preserve, encompassing other treasured California desert parks.”

BACKGROUND:

Establishing the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument would preserve some of the most visually stunning, biologically diverse, and culturally significant lands in the entire Mojave Desert, moving our country closer to achieving the global goal and Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative to preserve lands and waterways. At the White House Tribal Nations Summit in November 2022, President Biden committed to establishing the national monument.

Avi Kwa Ame, the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape, is sacred to twelve tribes, including the 10 Yuman-speaking tribes who pay reverence to Spirit Mountain as the center of their creation.

For decades, tribal members have called for permanent protection, along with local governments including Clark County, Boulder City, Searchlight and Laughlin, advocacy groups including NPCA and a broad array of public land users.

On a larger scale, Avi Kwa Ame National Monument would complete landscape connections between existing national parks and protected lands in the region, including Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Mojave National Preserve, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree national parks in California. When considered as a whole, this vast and connected network represents one of the greatest desert conservation reserves in the world, and is a significant contribution towards fighting climate change.

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About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.

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