BU.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., is introducing legislation that would turn 450,000 acres of land in Southern Nevada into a national monument.
The proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument would protect biologically diverse and culturally significant land in the Mojave Desert. The area is south of Searchlight, near the privately owned community of Cal-Nev-Ari.
Avi Kwa Ame, or Spirit Mountain, is a site of cultural significance for Native Americans and is the basis of several creation stories.
The area features scenic peaks, canyons, Joshua trees, bighorn sheep migration routes, grasslands and petroglyphs, Titus said in a letter Wednesday to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Brenda Mallory.
Conservation groups, tribes and others have been working to protect the land after proposals to develop a wind farm in the area.
Spirit Mountain is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area but the surrounding land is not, Titus said.
“We have an opportunity to preserve a place of deep sacred reverence filled with natural wonders and vibrant scenery of several mountain ranges,” Titus said in the letter.
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