BREAKING: Avi Kwa Ame National Monument reportedly a go
Biden is expected to protect 450,000 acres in southern Nevada
The land flows out from Avi Kwa Ame, or Spirit Mountain, and is held sacred by Yuman-speaking tribes as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute. It has been targeted for utility-scale wind and solar power development in the past, as well as for mining.
The national monument designation will put the federal land off-limits to new mining claims and energy leases.
In satellite imagery the place looks barren and bleak, a vast desert made all the more hostile by rocky, treeless mountain ranges. In reality it is vital and vibrant, home to desert bighorns and gila monsters and desert tortoises and brilliant wildflowers and, of course, thousands of big, anthropoid Joshua trees gesturing to the wide-open sky. The mountains are layered with greens and reds, purples and oranges, their nooks and crannies hiding springs and offering sanctuary from the summer sun.
I drove across the area in January and was stunned by the ecological diversity, the vistas, and the beauty. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry to make it to Hoover Dam before dark so didn’t stop to take nearly as many photos as I would have liked. But here are a few from within the proposed national monument and surrounding lands.
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