As published in Las Vegas Sun on March 1, 2020
I was so happy to read the article on the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument (Feb. 16, Las Vegas Sun). Spirit Mountain has been used by numerous Native American tribes for generations for ceremonial and cultural activities. Preserving this area for the benefit of tribes is the right thing to do, and it would ultimately benefit all Nevada residents and visitors who value these special lands.
Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain, which is tied directly to the creation story and well-being of nine Native American tribes; at least 11 tribes consider this landscape sacred.
The designation of the monument is crucial to protecting these incredible resources from development that would change the character of these lands forever, like the massive wind development that was proposed recently. While that project was shelved, other such projects may be considered in the future without the designation.
I thank Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto for proposing the designation of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. These lands need to be permanently protected for the benefit of tribal communities and for all Nevadans.