As published in Las Vegas Weekly on July 2, 2020
A team of conservationists, tribal groups and recreationalists have launched a public awareness campaign to protect 350,000 acres of Southern Nevada’s Mojave desert. Called Honor Spirit Mountain, the campaign urges the creation of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, which would be Nevada’s fourth national monument.
Located northwest of Laughlin, the monument would reach from the South McCullough Mountains to the west to the Newberry Mountains to the east. The area is full of biodiversity, Indigenous rock art and stunning vistas. It includes Joshua tree forests, desert tortoise habitats, a bighorn sheep corridor, a high density of golden eagles, arid grasslands and Walking Box Ranch, once owned by silent film stars. According to the website honorspiritmountain.org, Spirit Mountain (Avi Kwa Ame in Mojave) is sacred to 11 Native American tribes.
The push for protection comes after energy developers tried to build wind farms in the area. It could also prevent new mining claims, utility lines and road construction. Supporters are being asked to sign a petition at ipetitions.com/petition/honor-spirit-mountain and contact Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft.