The president vows action to protect Avi Kwa Ame and the surrounding region, which comprises the ancestral lands of 12 indigenous tribes and important desert habitat for bighorn sheep.
MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers applauded the administration’s pledge today to conserve vital wildlife habitat and important cultural lands in southern Nevada.
In remarks at the White House Summit of Tribal Nations, President Joe Biden vowed to promote long-term conservation of the region, which encompasses Avi Kwa Ame, or Spirit Mountain, as well as Joshua tree forests, desert landscapes, and the ancestral lands of 12 indigenous tribes. The area is home to a variety of wildlife species and habitats, including desert bighorn sheep migration corridors, and is surrounded by nine distinct wilderness areas.
Under the language of the proclamation being considered, the state of Nevada would maintain wildlife management authority, including the active management of water resources upon which wildlife populations depend. Hunting and continued public access opportunities would also remain.
“Hunters appreciate the vital role these Nevada lands play in supporting important populations of desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife, as well as their cultural significance to Native American communities,” said Land Tawney, BHA President and CEO. “Today we offer our sincerest thanks to the administration for heeding the calls of local stakeholders and for recognizing the crucial links these lands provide – biologically, culturally, recreationally and economically – by taking action to ensure their continued conservation.
“We remain committed to collaborative efforts to advance management plans that conserve hunting access and active wildlife management needs,” Tawney emphasized. “We call on the administration to move quickly and officially proclaim the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.”
BHA and a diverse community of stakeholders, including Indian tribes, business owners, and local residents, have come together to advocate for permanent conservation measures that protect the unique cultural values and intact wildlife habitat found in this region. . Many of these people, including BHA volunteers and staff, gathered at a meeting called by the Department of the Interior earlier this month in Laughlin, Nevada, near the southern boundary of the proposed monument.
“The Nevada chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is encouraged by the joint support shown by these diverse voices for the continued conservation of this unique region and important wildlife habitat in southern Nevada,” said Karen Boeger, a member of the NV BHA board, after the meeting. “We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with other members of our community in urging management to act now to preserve Avi Kwa Ame for future generations to experience and enjoy.”
BHA has always championed the United States’ national monument system and the judicious use of the Antiquities Act as a way to permanently preserve important great landscapes. The key to achieving this outcome is a process that adheres to specific principles and is locally driven, transparent, incorporates science-based habitat management, and advocates for existing hunting and fishing opportunities.
In 2016, the BHA and a consortium of outdoor groups and companies released a report on how national monument designations can support important fish and wildlife habitats while maintaining access to traditional hunting and fishing.
Read National Monuments: A Sportsman’s Perspective.
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