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Elected officials, indigenous people push for new national monument in Clark County

Heidi Kyser/Nevada Public Radio
Rep. Dina Titus lends her support last week to the creation of a national monument to protect Avi Kwa’ Ame, a mountain in southeast Clark County that is sacred to indigenous peoples. Titus made her announcement at the Springs Preserve.

Avi Kwa’ Ame — otherwise known as Spirit Mountain — lies just 80 miles south of Las Vegas, just northwest of Laughlin and east of U.S. Highway 95.

The area is a sacred site for many indigenous people living in Nevada, Arizona and California. It’s also long been considered an ideal place for outdoor recreation, and that means it’s been eyed as a potential site for development. 

Since 2020, a coalition of conservationists, as well as community and tribal leaders, have been working to secure federal protections.

Last week, Rep. Dina Titus sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland — herself a member of the Pueblo of Laguna Tribe of New Mexico — announcing her intention to introduce legislation to officially establish nearly 400,000 acres around the mountain as a national monument.

Dina Titus, congresswoman; Michael Naft, Clark County commissioner; Taylor Patterson, Native Voters Alliance Nevada, Alan O’Neill, Honor Avi Kwa’ Ame Coalition

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Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.