Biden declares national monuments in Nevada and Texas

Biden declares national monuments in Nevada and Texas

President Joe Biden has declared Nevada and Texas national monuments, creating a marine sanctuary in US waters near remote Pacific islands southwest of Hawaii.

Biden said in November he intended to designate Avi Kwa Ame, a desert mountain in southern Nevada considered sacred to Native Americans, as a national monument. The site is over 500,000 acres and includes Spirit Mountain, a peak northwest of Laughlin named Avi Kwa Ame (ah-VEE’ kwa-meh) by the Fort Mojave Tribe and listed on the National Register of Historic Places .

The rugged landscape near the Arizona and California borders is home to bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and a large concentration of Joshua Trees, some over 900 years old.

In Texas, Biden has named the Castner Chain in El Paso a national monument. The designation will protect cultural, scientific and historical objects within the monument’s boundaries, honor American veterans, military personnel and tribal nations, and expand access to outdoor recreation on public land, the White House said. .

Located at Fort Bliss, Castner Range served as a training and testing site for the US military during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The army ceased training at the site and closed Castner Range in 1966.

Together, the two new national monuments protect nearly 514,000 acres of public land.

Biden’s actions come as he faces heavy criticism from environmental groups and youth activists for his endorsement of the massive Willow oil drilling project in Alaska.


Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo spoke ahead of the nominations and stressed that neither the president’s administration nor the White House had consulted with him to declare Avi Kwa Ame a national monument.

“I have contacted the White House to raise several concerns citing the potential for terminal disruption of onshore mining projects and the long-planned bipartisan economic development effort. As I continue to await a response, I do not am not surprised (by their action), “Lombardo said.

For its part, Clark County said it is working to review President Biden’s nomination to better understand the impact on the region.

It would be the fourth national monument in the state of Nevada.

Ashley Johnson
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