AP: On Nevada trip, Haaland celebrates ‘new era’ of conservation
"Titus... described Avi Kwa Ame as a crown jewel. 'It just doesn't get any better than that,' she said."
Las Vegas, NV, April 14, 2023
LAS VEGAS (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joined members of Nevada’s congressional delegation and tribal leaders on Friday to celebrate Avi Kwa Ame, the state’s newly designated national monument, saying the recognition of the desert mountain heralds a “new era” of environmental conservation in which the federal government and tribal nations will work together to maintain protected areas.
Haaland, the nation’s first Native American Cabinet member, said she visited Avi Kwa Ame on Friday to watch the sunrise and was moved by the desert mountain’s rich history.
“I was struck by the power and presence of the ancestors in tribal communities who have prayed on, protected and drawn strength from this special place for thousands of years,” Haaland said later in Las Vegas at a celebration attended by tribal leaders and members of Congress.
President Joe Biden established the monument last month, nearly a year to the day after U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, a Nevada Democrat, introduced legislation to permanently protect the desert mountain region considered sacred by some tribes.
Tribal leaders in Arizona said earlier this week they hope to build on the momentum of Avi Kwa Ame’s national monument designation to persuade the the Biden administration to create similar protections for areas adjacent to the Grand Canyon, which they also consider sacred.