Sierra Club News
Reports emerged that President Biden will commit to designating Avi Kwa Ame in Nevada as the country’s newest national monument. The designation will provide permanent protection for roughly 450,000 acres of treasured desert landscapes that have deep cultural, spiritual, and environmental importance to the region.
The soon-to-be Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, which means “Spirit Mountain” in the Mojave language, is culturally and religiously significant to 12 Indigenous tribes, and will protect a fragile ecosystem that serves as critical habitat for species like the bighorn sheep and threatened Joshua trees.
This announcement will be the culmination of years of work by Tribes and activists in Nevada, who have called for the protection of these landscapes. This designation will follow the establishment of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument in Colorado last month, and the restoration of the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in October 2021, whose borders had been slashed by his predecessor.
In response, Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign senior director Chris Hill released the following statement:
“We welcome President Biden’s designation of Avi Kwa Ame as the country’s newest national monument. Public lands tell the history of this country and commemorate the legacies of the people who have shaped it from time immemorial. Today, that story adds another chapter, memorializing the stories of the Tribes and Indigenous groups whose spirituality and cultures are inseparable from these landscapes.
“This historic expansion of public lands will also preserve critical habitats and protect vulnerable species like bighorn sheep and iconic Joshua trees, while expanding access to nature for generations to come. Conserving lands and waters protects wildlife, provides clean water and air, and addresses our changing climate, and each new protected area gets us closer to the critical goal of protecting 30% of all lands and waters by 2030. We urge President Biden to seize this opportunity, designate Avi Kwa Ame now, and keep building his monumental legacy.”
Photo courtesy of Stan Shebs