Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Activists in Nevada are fighting to permanently protect a stretch of Mojave Desert with ecological and Native American cultural importance. The proposed site would be called Avi Kwa Ama National Monument and would encompass 594 square miles, including a Spanish Colonial Revival house that belonged to 1920s stars Clara Bow and Rex Bell.
Gabriel di Chiara, a Nevada Conservation League organizer, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “There are threats to the sort of peace and the environment that we’re in right now. And we believe establishing this monument will preserve this land and this way of life for future generations, and it’s vitally important.”
Why This Matters: During the recent G7 summit, the Biden administration committed to a conservation plan that would protect 30% of American lands and water by 2030, and the Avi Kwa Ama National Monument would help the administration reach its goal.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, and has prioritized protecting lands of cultural significance to Native people.
In a report released earlier this month, Haaland recommended protecting Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, as well as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, a series of underwater mountains off the coast of New England.
Protecting Cultural Lands: Protections for Avi Kwa Ama haven’t yet been ratified by the federal government, but putting monuments under federal protection would promote conservation and play a small part in rectifying centuries of discrimination and violence against Indigenous people. Many of these monuments house ancient Native cliff dwellings and sacred burial grounds. For example, Bear Ears s the ancestral homeland of five tribal nations — the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Pueblo of Zuni.
Environmentalists applauded the proposal. Dan Hartinger, director of government relations for The Wilderness Society, told the New York Times: “We welcome this news after years of litigation aimed at restoring the much needed protections for these lands and waters.”
Activists for indigenous issues echoed the sentiment. Taylor Patterson, executive director of Native Voters Alliance Nevada, emphasized the importance of protecting Avi Kwa Ama to the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “I don’t want to say ‘eternal thing,’ but for Fort Mojave, it’s been a consistent thing that this is their ancestral land, these are spaces that are really important to their cosmology, to their oral tradition, and it needs to be protected.”
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The earth is collapsing under Russia’s northeastern towns as global warming melts the permafrost beneath them. Permafrost occupies 65% of Russia’s landmass, making this massive thawing particularly destructive. “There isn’t a single settlement in Russia’s Arctic where you wouldn’t find a destroyed or deformed building,” said Alexey Maslakov, […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Heirs’ property is a type of land ownership whereby property is passed down without a will, and it’s one of the main reasons Black families in the US are losing their land. But the Mobile Basin Heirs’ Property Support Initiative announced yesterday could help families in Mississippi’s Mobile Bay […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The White House announced Friday that President Biden will use his executive authority to restore protections for three national monuments drastically reduced during the Trump Administration. He will reestablish and increase the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, both of which are in Utah. The orders […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.