For Immediate Release – November 30, 2022
Laura Cunningham, Western Watersheds Project, (775) 513-1280
Western Watersheds Project is supporting the formal announcement to create the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is southern Nevada, slated to be made today at the White House Tribal Nations Tribal Summit. The proposed Monument is an important ecological linkage between Mojave National Preserve and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Avi Kwa Ame translates to “Spirit Mountain” in the Yuman family of languages, and the proposed Monument protects the setting of this peak. Western Watersheds Project’s statement follows:
“Western Watersheds Project applauds the Biden administration for committing to long-term protections for Avi Kwa Ame, an expanse of high-quality Mojave Desert habitat in southern Nevada. Much of this area has already been closed to livestock grazing, elevating the ecological richness of these Mojave Desert ecosystems, home to rare desert tortoises, Joshua trees, and desert bighorn sheep. The area is also a biodiversity hot spot for desert birds.
We appreciate the leadership from the Indigenous tribes in advancing this ecologically rich and culturally significant landscape for National Monument protection.”
Western Watersheds Project has worked for years to protect the Joshua tree forests and beautiful Mojave Desert grasslands now slated for NM protections. We nominated these lands as an Area of Critical Concern in 2018, and led efforts to fend off the Crescent Peak wind project, which would have converted 39,000 acres of Avi Kwa Ame to industrial energy production.