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February 12, 2024

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Debra Haaland
Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20240

The Honorable Brenda Mallory
Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Biden, Secretary Haaland, and Chair Mallory:

Thank you for your commitment to the protection of our country’s national parks and public lands. As former National Park Service (NPS) leaders and members of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, an organization that represents over 2,500 current, former, and retired NPS employees and volunteers, we strongly support your initiative to conserve 30 percent of our nation’s public lands and waters by 2030.

Today, we are writing in support of the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe’s proposal to designate over 390,000 acres of land, currently being managed by the Bureau of Land Management, as the Kw’tsán National Monument. This designation would help to protect these culturally rich, ecologically vital, and historically significant lands, and move us one step closer to meeting the goals laid out in your 30 x 30 initiative.

The proposed national monument would help to preserve the cultural values, belief systems, and traditional practices of the Quechan people. This area is also part of a greater cultural landscape, connecting important sites such as Avi Kwa Lal, Palo Verde Peak, the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument, and Spirit Mountain in Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. The proposed boundary also incorporates the Indian Pass Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Pilot Knob (Avikwalal), Singer Geoglyphs (ACEC), Buzzards Peak, and Picacho Peak Wilderness areas.
In addition, designating the Kw’tsán National Monument would prevent harmful activities – such as staking new mining claims and industrial development – within the protected boundaries of the monument and help ensure essential protections for wildlife, cultural and historic sites, and scenic landscapes.

In conclusion, we urge you to use your authority under the Antiquities Act and take action to designate the Kw’tsán National Monument in order to protect a landscape of irreplaceable cultural, historic, and ecological importance.


Phil Francis signature.



Philip A. Francis Jr., Chair
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks

The Honorable Alex Padilla, U.S. Senator for California
The Honorable Laphonza Butler, U.S. Senator for California
The Honorable Raul Ruiz, U.S. Representative for California’s 25th District