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Clark County considers resolution on proposed Nevada monument

Spiky desert plants grow beneath tall, jagged mountain peaks.
Honor Avi Kwa Ame
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Newberry Mountains in Nevada.

Advocates are pushing for Nevada county commissioners to pass a resolution supporting the creation of a new national monument in the Mojave Desert.

The proposed monument is known as Avi Kwa Ame, the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain. It’s a sacred landscape to a dozen tribes in the area, including Mojave, Hopi and Hualapai.

Clark County commissioners will vote on the resolution at a later date. If passed, it will urge President Biden to establish Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument and protect it from commercial development.

The proposal is supported by the Inter-Tribal Councils of Nevada and Arizona, several environmental groups, and town advisory boards in nearby cities. Advocates say the region is home to rare plants and animals like bighorn sheep, Mojave desert tortoises, and Joshua Trees. It’s tied to the creation story of Yuman-speaking tribes, who have advocated for its protection since the 1990s.

But energy developers are interested in the site for wind and solar farms.

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Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.