Clark County Commissioner Naft Joins Advocates for Press Briefing on Avi Kwa Ame Resolution, Following Commission Vote - Institute for a Progressive Nevada
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Clark County Commissioner Naft Joins Advocates for Press Briefing on Avi Kwa Ame Resolution, Following Commission Vote

Clark County Commissioner Naft Joins Advocates for Press Briefing on Avi Kwa Ame Resolution, Following Commission Vote

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2022

CONTACTS: Will Pregman, wpregman@battlebornprogress.org, 702.752.0656

Angelyn Tabalba, angelyn@nevadaconservationleague.org, 808.232.9269

Clark County Commissioner Naft Joins Advocates for Press Briefing on Avi Kwa Ame Resolution, Following Commission Vote

**Video Recording HERE**

Las Vegas, NV – Following today’s meeting of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Michael Naft joined members of the Honor Avi Kwa Ame coalition for a press conference held via Zoom to speak about the earlier vote to approve a County resolution supporting the designation by the federal government of Avi Kwa Ame as a National Monument. The resolution successfully passed with a unanimous vote of during as part of the meeting’s consent agenda. Speakers on the call emphasized the proposed Avi Kwa Ame monument’s importance to Yuman-speaking Indigenous tribes, protecting Joshua tree and wildlife habitats, supporting outdoor recreation, including off-highway vehicles (OHV), and bolstering the local economies of nearby municipalities including Searchlight, Laughlin, and Boulder City. 

“Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy supports 49,000 jobs and generates $3.9 billion for the state in annual economic activity,” said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft. I am confident that by protecting Avi Kwa Ame we will also be protecting and expanding economic opportunity for those who call Laughlin, Searchlight, and Cal Nev Ari home. I’m grateful for the unanimous support of my colleagues on the Clark County Commission and look forward to Congresswoman Titus’s continued leadership on this issue in Washington, D.C.”

“The Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, a federally recognized tribe and sovereign nation, and resident of Clark County, has been working for decades to protect the sacred Avi Kwa Ame landscape, which we have stewarded since time immemorial. We strongly support the resolution to support the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument,” said Chairman Timothy Williams of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe. “The lands of the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument are very important to the Mojave people and the nine other Yuman tribes whose creation story begins in this sacred area. Avi Kwa Ame is where we come from, it is where we were created and placed here to protect, it is our Ancestral homelands. The immense significance of this Avi Kwa Ame landscape, and our connection to it, is not explained by simply artifacts or petroglyphs. Rather, this is a cultural landscape that is connected back to the creation of the universe and our heritage, passed down from generation to generation through oral history, song, ritual, and religious practices which we continue to this day. This unique significance has been acknowledged and recognized by the federal government through decades of engagement and consultation with tribal governments… It is of the utmost importance to us that the national monument as proposed be established and that no further harm, now or into the future, will come. We have seen enough of our ancestral lands desecrated and destroyed. We thank the many organizations, local communities and supporters who are here with us for all their efforts, outreach, and ongoing work to make Avi Kwa Ame National Monument a reality.”

Searchlight residents are strongly united on this issue. We love our surrounding public lands and want to keep them the way they are, so future generations can enjoy them,” Kim Garrison Means, Searchlight resident and owner of Mystery Ranch, said. That means we support this proposal, because it offers better protections for the land, and our community can have a seat at the table with its future stewardship. For us in remote and rural Searchlight, gentle economic growth would bring our young people more opportunities, bring more outdoor economy-related jobs for our working families, and it may even mean bring us a third restaurant or a community market. These would be major improvements to our quality of life.”

The community of Laughlin has been pleased to support the addition of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument,” said Jackie Wallin, President/CEO Laughlin Chamber of Commerce. Laughlin has grown as a regional leader in outdoor recreation for tourism and tri-state residents and guests.  The national monument would complement efforts we are already spearheading.  For Nevada, outdoor recreation generates $12.6 billion in consumer spending and 87,000 jobs, $4 billion in wages and salaries, and $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. We know from multiple studies that national monuments not only help nearby communities diversify economically, but also increase the quality of life and recreational opportunities, making communities more attractive for new residents, businesses, and investment. This is another reason why we support the establishment of this national monument….Laughlin is excited to be part of this process.  It is an effort that can have long-lasting positive impacts on the quality of life for our residents and businesses, as well as our visitors, and perhaps most importantly, the Aha Macav … the original “People by the River.”

“Both the state of Nevada and Clark County have passed resolutions in support of the national and global initiative to protect 30% of our lands and waters by 2030,” said Alan O’Neill, Retired Superintendent, Lake Mead National Recreation Area. “The proposed boundaries for the Monument were developed to connect existing protected areas and to include critical migratory routes and elevation and transitional zones and niches. By connecting the Monument to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, you are essentially connecting the East Mohave Desert to the Colorado Plateau, providing an even larger connected and integrated landscape. Building connectivity increases ecosystem resilience and the ability of the ecosystem to maintain its functions in the face of changing conditions brought about by climate change. The Monument is the connective tissue that ties this all together and allows this important landscape to be managed as a more integrated complex.”

“Avi Kwa Ame monument is a treasure to me and the off- roading community,” said Ashley Lee, Member of the OHV Community. “This designation protects roughly 500 miles of back country roads that I have enjoyed. Industrial development, including new infrastructure, widening of roads, and removal of plants and animals, would disfigure the land and devastate trails that myself and others enjoy. I’m very excited that we can continue to recreate in our wild Nevada unencumbered.”

Spokespeople in Spanish or English are available for individual interviews.

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