September 19th, 2022 The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr. The White House Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, Together, 100 organizations representing millions of members and supporters across the country join the Indigenous leaders and nations, state and local governments, conservation organizations, outdoor recreationists, small businesses, artists, and advocates urging you to designate Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument. The proposed Avi Kwa Ame national monument spans nearly 450,000 acres between the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Nevada-California state border. These lands feature dramatic peaks, scenic canyons, natural springs, sloping bajadas covered with ancient Joshua tree forests, unique grasslands, and a rich history of rock art and other cultural sites. The cultural, natural, recreational, and historic resources and values throughout this incredible southern Nevada landscape need stronger, permanent protections. Avi Kwa Ame roughly translates from Mojave to Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape, and it is full of cultural resources and values. Spirit Mountain is designated a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its religious and cultural importance. The area is considered sacred to ten Yuman speaking tribes–the Mojave, Hualapai, Yavapai, Havasupai, Quechan, Maricopa. Pai Pai, Cocopah, Halchidhoma and Kumeyaay–as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute. It contains areas of sacred and ritual importance associated with creation, cosmology, and well-being. The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, which serves as caretaker of the mountain and surrounding landscapes on behalf of the other Yuman tribes, notes “the physical network of Mojave trails and cultural sites and the corresponding Mojave Bird Songs and Creation Stories links their tribe and religious traditions.” The proposed monument contains many natural resources as well including some of the most visually stunning, biologically diverse lands in the Mojave Desert. It forms the eastern end of the world’s largest Joshua tree forest. The area is home to some of the oldest and largest Joshua trees on the planet, some rising to more than 30 feet over 900 years. It is also home to rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave Desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep, and it serves as an important migratory corridor for desert bighorn sheep. A herd of desert bighorn sheep lives on the steep, rocky slopes of the Castle Mountains and the New York Mountains, and the Highland Range, part of the monument, is set aside as a crucial bighorn habitat area. The area has been designated by Audubon as an “Important Birding Area” because it is important for migratory birds due to its proximity to foraging habitat, nesting habitat, and the Colorado River, one of the most significant features in the Pacific Flyway. Designating the area as a monument would help protect the land and preserve these essential habitats. Avi Kwa Ame is a recreationists’ wonderland where people can experience the great outdoors, on trails for hiking, hunting, birding, riding off-highway vehicles, and stargazing. The outdoor recreation industry plays a vital role in Nevada’s economy, ranking third in the jobs sustained in the state. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy creates 87,000 jobs and generates $12.6 billion in consumer spending in that state. Designating Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument would provide more opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor spaces. The proposed monument also includes many historical values and resources, such as petroglyphs, mining, and pioneer-era artifacts, and Walking Box Ranch, the home of 1930s-era film stars Rex Bell and Clara Bow. The local governments and business organizations in gateway communities also support the monument proposal, including the Searchlight Town Advisory Board, the Boulder City Council, the Laughlin Town Advisory Board, the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce, and the Laughlin Tourism Commission. Additionally, in 2021, the Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Joint Resolution No. 3 in support of protecting 30 percent of the lands and waters of the United States by 2030 and designating Avi Kwa Ame as a national monument. Signed, Accountable.US Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Amargosa Conservancy American Sustainable Business Network Azul Basin and Range Watch Battle Born Progress – Nevada Bold Alliance Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action California Environmental Voters Californians for Western Wilderness Chesapeake Conservancy Chispa AZ Chispa LCV Chispa NV Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Conservation Lands Foundation Conservation Minnesota Conservation Voters for Idaho Conservation Voters New Mexico Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Defenders of Wildlife Dolores River Boating Advocates EarthKeepers 360 Endangered Species Coalition Environment America Environmental Action Fifth Sun Project Fort Ord Recreational Trails (FORT) Friends Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area Friends of AZ Joshua Tree Forest Friends of Browns Canyon Friends of Gold Butte Friends of Nevada Wilderness Friends of Plumas Wilderness Friends of Red Rock Canyon Friends of Sloan Canyon Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Friends of the Earth Friends of the Inyo Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Friends of the Owyhee Friends of the San Pedro River Inc. Friends of the Yampa Friends of Walking Box Ranch Get Outdoors Nevada Great Old Broads for Wilderness GreenLatinos Healthy Ocean Coalition Hispanic Access Foundation Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) Inland Ocean Coalition Institute for a Progressive Nevada Las Vegas Astronomical Society Las Vegas DSA Latino Outdoors League of Conservation Voters Loxahatchee River Historical Society / Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum Mojave Desert Land Trust Mormon Women for Ethical Government Nevada Chapter National Audubon Society National Ocean Protection Coalition National Parks Conservation Association National Wildlife Federation Native American Land Conservancy Native Voter Alliance Nevada Nevada Conservation League Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition Nevada Plants Nevada Wildlife Federation New Mexico Wildlife Federation Nuclear Information and Resource Service Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project One APIA Nevada Outdoor Afro Patagonia Protectors of Tule Springs Red Rock Audubon Society Sequent Management Group Sierra Club Soda Mountain Wilderness Council Solidarity Fridge Somos Votantes Symbiotic The Chaparral Lands Conservancy The Mountain Pact The Nature Conservancy The Ocean Project The Pew Charitable Trusts The Wilderness Society Trust for Public Land Tuleyome Vet Voice Foundation Virginia League of Conservation Voters Waterway Advocates, Inc. Western Leaders Network Western Resource Advocates Western Watersheds Project Wildlands Network CC: The Honorable Debra Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior The Honorable Brenda Mallory, White House Council on Environmental Quality The Honorable Catherine Cortez Masto, U.S. Senate The Honorable Jacky Rosen, U.S. Senate The Honorable Dina Titus, U.S. House of Representative The Honorable Susie Lee, U.S. House of Representative The Honorable Steven Horsford, U.S. House of Representative