Coalition Praises Biden Administration for Hosting Public Meeting Advancing Creation of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni National Monument
Mike Murray, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement on the public meeting held by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service in Flagstaff, Arizona, to hear from the community about the management of the region’s public lands, including a proposal to designate existing public lands as a national monument in northern Arizona.
“We are grateful the Biden Administration has recognized the critical need to protect Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni and we applaud the leaders from the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service for going to Flagstaff to hear what the community has to say about the proposal.
“Establishing the proposed Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni National Monument would be a critical contribution to the preservation of Native American ancestral lands. It would also help to protect habitat for incredible biological diversity and numerous threatened, endangered, and rare species in the region.
“While the resources within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park have been protected, the greater Grand Canyon region remains at risk. Over time, the monument designation will help to protect Grand Canyon National Park as well.
“It is within the President’s authority under the Antiquities Act to take swift action to protect these lands and establish a national monument. We encourage the administration to strengthen their conservation legacy – and push hard towards the goals laid out in the 30 x 30 initiative – by establishing protections for places such as Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni. We hope this public community meeting helps move this process forward.
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks – including several former superintendents of Grand Canyon National Park – has joined Tribal and local community leaders, and congressional lawmakers in Arizona, in calling on the Biden Administration to permanently protect the over one million of acres of culturally significant lands near the Grand Canyon known as Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni.