How do we honor history, sacred places and our cultural connections to the land?

We Protect It.

Next section

Avi Kwa Ame (Ah-VEE kwa-meh) is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape in Southern Nevada.

It's the source of life and place of origin for 10 Yuman-speaking tribes of the Mojave, Hualapai, Yavapai, Havasupai, Quechan, Maricopa, Pai Pai, Halchidhoma, Cocopah, and Kumeyaay.

It's sacred land to the Hopi and Southern Paiute people.

It's a vital link for the wildlife, plants, recreational and cultural needs of the region.

President Biden heeded the call of local Tribes, southern Nevada residents, outdoor recreationists, and conservation organizations who wanted to see permanent protection of this special place. In March 2023, President Biden designated Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, protecting over 500,000 acres.

Bianca Ortero

"Of all the spiritual lands and sacred places in the area, Avi Kwa Ame is the most sacred and important to us."

— Bianca Otero, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe

Taylor Patterson

“It’s important to protect this landscape for generations to come. If these areas are lost, if the natural resources are not still here, our generations after us won’t be able to know their traditional ways.”

— Taylor Patterson, Bishop Paiute, Executive Director of Native Voters Alliance Nevada and organizer for the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Campaign

This Hotspot of Natural Diversity is No Place for Development

The Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is a hotspot of natural diversity, including many species found nowhere else on Earth.

Joshua Trees

The Joshua tree forests within the monument are among the most significant ones on the planet–including the world’s largest Joshua tree forest and home to some of the oldest and largest Joshua trees in existence. The oldest of these ancient wonders have survived for over 900 years.

Desert Tortoise

The area also contains the largest area of high-quality critical habitat for the desert tortoise, and likely the highest desert tortoise population densities in Nevada.

Desert Bighorn Sheep

The Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is a vital migratory corridor for desert bighorn sheep. A herd of them lives on the steep, rocky slopes of the Castle Mountains, the Highland Range, and the New York Mountains. They and other wildlife traverse the area between the Piute Mountains and the New York Mountains and east to the Newberry and Eldorado Mountains.

Important Birding Area

The region has been designated as an Important Birding Area for its unique and diverse assemblage of birds that includes gilded flickers, Harris’ hawks, and curved-billed thrashers.

It contains one of the highest known densities of golden eagles in Nevada. Nearly two dozen species of raptors reside in the monument including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and western screech owls.

The landscape is also important for migratory birds due to its proximity to foraging habitat, nesting habitat, and to the Colorado River, which is one of the most significant features in the Pacific Flyway.

Biological Treasures

The monument is home to many other biological treasures including the Chuckwalla lizard (right) and the elusive Gila Monster, which spends a significant portion of its life underground. Upland areas contain a unique arid grassland community that includes 28 species of native and rare grasses.

The National Monument protects recreational values like...

the natural quiet and dark night skies...


maintaining the rural lifestyle of gateway communities...

and backcountry road access.

The Avi Kwa Ame National Monument also brings protection to historical sites like the Mojave Trail, used by Indigenous people and later by settlers and explorers, and the Walking Box Ranch.

Protection Not Development

For years, a coalition of Tribes, local residents, the Nevada Legislature, conservation groups, recreation interests, and others worked together to establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument to permanently protect these treasured lands from energy development that would have forever fragmented the world-class ecosystem, cultural and recreational values of the region.



Kim Garrison-Means

“For the past 15 years this area has been a battleground as a site of proposed large-scale industrial energy projects. These projects threaten the migratory routes of animals and plants and break up the natural landscapes that people are attracted to, to come and live, have business and recreate here.”

— Kim Garrison-Means, Resident of Searchlight, Nevada




James Adams

“Undeveloped land is always target for developers... by protecting the land we can help say 'This is not appropriate for this area'.”

— James Adams, Boulder City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tempore



“This is an area that is very sacred. It’s really important that we maintain it and keep it the way it is for future generations. Not only for future generations of Mojaves, but for all people”

— Agatha Knox, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe Elder

Thank President Biden today!

Click here to visit to take action


The Avi Kwa Ame (Spirit Mountain) National Monument spans more than 500,000 acres of public land in southern Nevada with outstanding ecological, cultural, recreational, and scenic values. Designating these lands as a national monument ensured their preservation for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Establishing the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument was a crucial step in the preservation of Native American ancestral lands, joining Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments. The area's designation also protects the quality of life for local residents. For these reasons, Tribal leaders, local Searchlight, Boulder City and Laughlin residents, the Nevada Legislature, conservation groups, and others advocated for the establishment of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.


Additional Resources

Honor Avi Kwa Ame

Honor Avi Kwa Ame

Learn more about the effort to protect the sacred land of the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. Honor Avi Kwa Ame is an effort supported by a coalition of Tribes, local residents, conservation groups, recreation interests, the Nevada Legislature, and local elected officials to permanently protect this area as a National Monument.

Walking Box Ranch

Walking Box Ranch

Walking Box Ranch, located at the heart of the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument 7 miles west of Searchlight, Nevada, was founded in 1931 by the actors Rex Bell and Clara Bow as a working 400,000 acres ranch. At the time it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 30, 2009, the ranch covered 160 acres

Support the Protection of New National Monuments

Support the Protection of New National Monuments

National monuments honor America’s diverse experiences, and make sure important stories and connections to lands and waters continue to exist for generations to come. Join local communities in asking President Biden, Interior Secretary Haaland, and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to designate landscapes, seascapes, and historical and cultural sites as national monuments.