Brian Birch 32

Protect Sacred Tribal Lands with the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument

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The proposed Avi Kwa Ame (Spirit Mountain) National Monument spans 350,000 acres of public land in southern Nevada with outstanding ecological, cultural, recreational, and scenic values. Designating these lands as a national monument would ensure their preservation for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. I support establishing the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.

The proposed monument contains some of the most visually stunning, biologically diverse and culturally significant lands in the Mojave Desert and features dramatic peaks, scenic canyons, natural springs, ancient Joshua tree forests, and a rich history of rock art and other cultural sites. The proposed monument is a hotspot of botanical diversity, providing habitat for a cacophony of plants and animals, including many species found nowhere else on Earth.

The area is considered sacred by the Yuman speaking tribes which include the Mojave, Hualapai, Yavapai, Havasupai, Quechan, Maricopa, Pai Pai, and Kumeyaay. The area is tied to their creation, cosmology, and well-being. Spirit Mountain, called Avi Kwa Ame by the Mojave Tribe, is located on the eastern boundary of the monument, is also a sacred site to the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute.

Establishing the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is a crucial step in the preservation of Native American ancestral lands, joining Bears Ears and Gold Butte national monuments. For these reasons, tribal leaders, conservation groups, and others are calling for the establishment of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.

I support the designation of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, as it will conserve important cultural sites, protect wildlife habitat, benefit our state’s economy, and secure the permanent protection of these lands for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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