In March, President Joe Biden created the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument (“Spirit Mountain” in the Mojave language) in southern Nevada on land considered to be among the most sacred places on Earth by the Mojave, Chemehuevi, and some Southern Paiute people. It is also important to other Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples including the Cocopah, Halchidhoma, Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Kumeyaay, Maricopa, Pai Pai, Quechan, Yavapai, and Zuni Tribes. The peak of Avi Kwa Ame is designated as a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places.
The national monument spans approximately 506,814 acres of lands managed by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation, and National Park Service (NPS). An excellent partner, the Department of the Interior is a statutory member of the ACHP and sponsors three liaison positions: two for the NPS and one for BLM.
According to the White House, this new national monument creates one of the largest contiguous areas of protected wildlife habitat in the United States, tying together the protected lands of the Mojave Desert in California to the southwest with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and other protected areas to the east near the Colorado River. The designation also provides protection to an ancient and intact Joshua tree forest that contains Nevada’s largest Joshua tree.