(Katelynn Richardson) – President Biden announced during the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit that Nevada’s Avi Kwa Ame, also called Spirit Mountain, will be designated as a national monument.
The administration is currently preparing a proclamation that will protect and prevent development on 450,000 acres of Nevada land under the Antiquities Act of 1906, according to The Washington Post.
Local tribes, residents, and conservationists have been pushing for the protection of the land for years, fighting proposals to build a wind farm at the location. In February, Rep. Dina Titus, D-NV, introduced legislation to designate Avi Kwa Ame and its 450,000 surrounding acres as a national monument.
Titus expressed her appreciation to the president in a tweet.
“I’m thrilled that @POTUS is set to establish #AviKwaAme as a national monument,” she wrote. “Tribal leaders and conservationists have been working for over 20 years to permanently protect this sacred land. We did it!”
Gov. Steve Sisolak also thanked the president in a tweet Wednesday.
“Designating the sacred Tribal site of Spirit Mountain and the surrounding Mojave Desert as a national monument and providing for appropriate management will ensure we will continue to preserve our rich cultural history and protect our rare and threatened wildlife,” he said.
Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-NV, who was present at the Tribal Nations Summit, tweeted that she supports making Avi Kwa Ame a national monument.
In a statement, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-NV, said the decision would protect “environmental and cultural resources.”
“Across Nevada, this national monument has widespread support and is a key part of our work to protect our environmental and cultural resources,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “The land within Avi Kwa Ame is sacred to 12 Tribal nations, includes critical habitat for a wide range of wildlife, provides world-class outdoor recreation opportunities, and contains some of the most stunning landscapes in Nevada.
Clark County issued a statement Wednesday, assuring it would continue working to protect the land as well as key economic institutions.
“Clark County recognizes the great significance of the Avi Kwa Ame region to tribal communities as well as conservationists,” the county said. “We continue to work with stakeholders at the federal level to ensure that while we are protecting these lands, we are also advocating for the future operational abilities of Harry Reid International Airport as well as our other important economic institutions.”
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square