Titus Celebrates President Biden’s Intent to Establish Avi Kwa Ame as a National Monument
Las Vegas, Nevada, November 30, 2022 | Sara Severens (202-924-1719)
Today Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), author of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Establishment Act of 2022, praised President Biden for announcing his intent to establish Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument during the Tribal Nations Summit by his authority under the Antiquities Act.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Today Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), author of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Establishment Act of 2022, praised President Biden for announcing his intent to establish Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument during the Tribal Nations Summit by his authority under the Antiquities Act.
The Mojave name for Spirit Mountain, Avi Kwa Ame is considered the sacred center of creation by ten Yuman speaking tribes as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute. In February, Congresswoman Titus introduced legislation to permanently protect these nearly 450,000 acres of biologically diverse and culturally significant lands within the Mojave Desert by designating it as a national monument.
“Avi Kwa Ame’s story is one of perseverance and passion,” said Rep. Titus. “I am pleased that President Biden has listened to Southern Nevada stakeholders, including indigenous leaders, environmentalists, and outdoor recreationalists to protect this sacred land.
“Preserving treasured spaces has always been important to me, and I am grateful for the many grassroots organizations and community leaders who have been instrumental over the years in safeguarding these sloping bajadas, scenic canyons, and ancient cultural sites for future generations to enjoy.
“Land conservation is a core value in Nevada. Voters across the political spectrum in the Silver State have consistently indicated that protecting public lands is important to them. I am not surprised that our broad coalition achieved the goal of permanently protecting Spirit Mountain and the surrounding Mojave Desert region.
“I want to thank President Biden, Interior Secretary Haaland, and the rest of the Administration for making public lands conservation a priority as we celebrate this achievement.”
"The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe thanks Congresswoman Titus for her leadership and actions to establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. Avi Kwa Ame is a unique cultural landscape that is the center of creation for Mojave people and we are grateful it will remain protected. Knowing our future generations will have the freedom to continue our cultural and religious practices as we have since time immemorial is both a model of inclusivity and a promise to honor the strength of Nevada’s diversity," said Timothy Williams, Fort Mojave Indian Tribal Chairman.
“We invest in this land not only because it is the right thing to do for future generations, but it is truly the prudent financial move as well. Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy supports 49,000 jobs and generates $3.9 billion for the state in annual economic activity," said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft who has introduced a resolution of support for the designation.
“The cultural and ecological resources at Avi Kwa Ame are incredible and worthy of a national monument designation,” said Leah Donahey, Federal Advocacy Campaigns Director at the League of Conservation Voters. “We thank Rep. Titus for her leadership and look forward to working with her, the Biden-Harris administration, the rest of the Nevada delegation, tribal governments, and local leaders and advocates to ensure the landscape is preserved for generations to come.”
“As a gateway community to the National Monument Avi Kwa Ame, Boulder City is grateful for all the support from our elected Nevada leaders and those in Washington DC,” said Jill Lagan, CEO of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce. “As a champion for business in Southern Nevada, the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce sees the opportunity to invite tourists to our area to learn more about exploring, discovering, and unwinding in the unspoiled Avi Kwa Ame. As stewards of this great land, we are indeed willing to educate the visitors and locals on the history and conservation efforts happening in this neighboring wilderness and look forward to enjoying this great hallmark of the past, present, and future.”
Congresswoman Titus has been a long-time champion of preserving public lands. From leading the charge to protect Gold Butte and Basin & Range to conserving Tule Springs, she believes that everyone has a responsibility to be good stewards of our nation’s unique landscapes.
In February, Congresswoman Titus introduced the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Establishment Act of 2022, legislation to protect nearly 450,000 acres of biologically diverse and culturally significant lands within the Mojave Desert.
The monument features dramatic scenic peaks and canyons, sloping bajadas home to some of the oldest and largest Joshua trees in the world, bighorn migration routes, unique grasslands, and a rich history of petroglyphs and other ancient cultural sites sacred to ten Yuman-speaking Tribes in the Mountain West.
Avi Kwa Ame’s designation as a national monument will also boost tourism in Southern Nevada. The State’s outdoor recreation economy lost around 14 million visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some tour companies relying on out-of-state visitors cut staff by up to 70%. The new national monument will create excitement about another outdoor recreation opportunity and will support the local tourism, hospitality, and sporting goods industries. That’s why this monument is supported by the local business community, including both the Boulder City and Laughlin Chambers of Commerce.
Tribal leaders and conservationists have been working for over 20 years to permanently protect Avi Kwa Ame and have coordinated with elected officials, government agencies, outdoor recreation businesses, and environmental organizations to establish the monument’s boundary lines.