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AZ tribes have deep connection to proposed monument in southern Nevada

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

President Joe Biden announced late last year that he intends to create a national monument in southeast Nevada that a number of Arizona tribes find significant.

Avi Kwa Ame National Monument takes its name from a Mojave word for Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape.

It’s sacred to 12 tribes, including several Yuman-speaking groups who live along the Colorado River.

The monument would protect 450,000 acres and would bring closure to a conservation effort that has been going on for decades.

Neal Desai of the National Parks Conservation Association said the monument will connect ecosystems across the Southwest.

“These 450,000 acres, is the missing link to connect all the work that we have done for generations to protect the California desert, connect that to the Colorado Plateau," Desai said. 

He says the monument will not only protect vital wildlife corridors but help offset the effects of climate change.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.