Honor Avi Kwa Ame is a public awareness campaign recently launched supporting an effort to have 350,000 acres of public land in Southern Nevada designated a national monument. The proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument would be Nevada’s fourth national monument.
After repeated threats of development to the area, a coalition of Native American tribes, conservation organizations, and recreation interests, among others, are working to gain protection for the land. The area is rich in culture, serves as an important habitat for wildlife, and is a mecca for outdoor recreation. People interested in protecting the area can sign a petition at www.honorspiritmountain.org.
Avi Kwa Ame is also the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain, a 5,600 ft. peak near Laughlin and the surrounding area, all that is a part of the proposed monument. Sacred to 11 Yuman speaking tribes, the proposed monument is at the center of theses tribes’ creation stories and spiritual ideology and is currently used for ceremonial activities.
A national monument designation would preserve the area’s cultural value and other resources. A wildlife habitat, with an abundance of Joshua trees, desert tortoises, and bighorn sheep, the national monument designation would also preserve the area’s rare Sonoran grassland, several natural springs, and historic former mining sites.
Included in the proposed monument area is Walking Box Ranch, the home of 1930s-era film stars Rex Bell and Clara Bow. The area’s outstanding scenery would also be protected, as well as world-class outdoor recreation like hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, hunting, and stargazing.
“A national monument designation means protecting this area from new mining claims, energy development, utility lines, and road construction while preserving it for future generations to enjoy,” said Alan O’Neill, an advisor to the National Parks Conservation Association and former superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. “This area is rich in both history and beauty. A national monument designation would be a big win for Nevada.”
In January, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, (D-Nev) referenced Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in her draft Clark County lands bill, a 64-page bill that would alter development and conservation boundaries in Southern Nevada.
For more information, please visit www.honorspiritmountain.org.