PROPOSED AVI KWA AME NATIONAL MONUMENT DEEMED CRITICAL TO “30 BY 30” DURING NEVADA ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE LEGISLATIVE HEARING MARCH 10TH, 2021
In Nevada, 82 percent of voters support the initiative to buffer against climate change, protect Nevada’s dark night sky assets, and support the state’s economic recovery.
LAS VEGAS (March 1o, 2021) Wednesday, March 10 was a big win for the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Clark County, as support for its conservation poured in during Nevada’s Assembly Natural Resources Committee hearing for AJR3. The resolution, sponsored by District 16 Assemblywoman Cecelia González, states Avi Kwa Ame is a “critical step which will help reach the recommendation to conserve 30 percent of the lands and waters in the State by 2030.”
In 2020, national and local conservation groups launched a public awareness campaign to garner support for the 380,000’s acre area’s national monument designation. The land has come under repeated threats of industrial development. Mojave for Spirit Mountain, Avi Kwa Ame is considered sacred to 12 Native Tribes.
“Nevada is positioned to make a big contribution to the 30 by 30 movement, and the conservation of Avi Kwa Ame is center stage,” said Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Paul Selberg, one of the organizations spearheading the area’s national monument designation. “We applaud Assemblywoman González for putting forth legislation to achieve this ambitious goal and protect Nevada’s historic, cultural, and spiritually significant landscapes like Avi Kwa Ame.”
In the last 20 years, Nevada has lost more than nine million acres of wildlife habitat to wildfires, and the state ranks third in the nation for the number of species at risk. This puts Nevada on the frontlines of the environmental crisis. According to González and other supporters, Avi Kwa Ame also plays a vital role in the global response to scientific recommendations that address the current extinction, climate, and biodiversity crisis.
“Nevadans are excited about the opportunity to conserve our precious landscapes and natural resources and to be part of a national commitment to safeguarding our lands, waters, and wildlife. ’30 by 30′ is also an opportunity to conserve areas of cultural, spiritual, and historical significance, including the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Southern Nevada. We must ensure our conservation efforts respect tribal communities and their visions and priorities for the stewardship of our natural resources.”
Before the hearing, local businesses and conservation organizations supported AJR 3 in a joint letter to Nevada legislators. They include Nevada Conservation League, The Wilderness Society, National Parks Conservation Association, and others.
During his first days in office, President Biden signed an executive order that commits to conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. New Mexico Congresswoman and Interior Secretary-designate Deb Haaland has also been a leader on 30 by 30. Last Congress, Deb Haaland was instrumental in leading a House resolution to support 30 by 30 and recently recommitted to these goals during her Senate confirmation hearing.
Nevada and 30 by 30
The 30 by 30 conservation goal comes in response to scientists’ recommendation to mitigate a steep decline in nature.
A recent poll from Colorado College indicated that 82 percent of Nevadans support a national 30 by 30 benchmark, and 90 percent agree that even with state budget problems, we should still find money to conserve the state’s land, water, and wildlife.
With Nevada’s abundance of public lands, natural resources, and wildlife, the state has the unique opportunity to lead in this effort and contribute to a national goal.
Avi Kwa Ame’s 380,000 acres will create a massive contiguous block of conserved land critical to 30 by 30, an initiative with strong bipartisan support. Avi Kwa Ame will also be an economic driver for Nevada, adding to the state’s recovery.
About Honor Avi Kwa Ame
Honor Avi Kwa Ame (pronounced Ah-VEE kwa-ah-may) is an education initiative supporting the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. The 380,000-acre area in Southern Nevada includes land sacred to 12 Native American tribes, such as the Havasupai, Hualapai, Kumeyaay, Maricopa, Mojave, Pai Pai, Quechan, and Yavapai. Some of the most stunning, biologically diverse, and culturally significant land in the Mojave Desert is a habitat for plants and animals, like the desert tortoise and others, found nowhere else on Earth.
The proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is supported by tribes, conservation and recreation groups, business leaders, and elected officials. Protecting this area preserves Native American ancestral lands, conserves important cultural sites and values, protects wildlife habitat, and benefits present and future generations, along with Nevada’s economy.