Exclusive Biden to commit to honor tribes with huge Nevada national monument

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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From the highway, Spirit Mountain — a 5,642 foot-high peak — appears gray. But at times, it glows a majestic pink. For the Fort Mojave and 11 other tribes, these mystical rocks are the site from which their ancestors emerged.
“There’s a spiritual connection that makes us Mojave people,” said Tim Williams, chair of the tribal council. “If it’s not protected, our generation will not have done our job.”

Two decades ago, Congress preserved the mountain — called Avi Kwa Ame (ah-VEE-kwah-may) in Mojave — and 33,000 acres around it as wilderness. Now the Biden administration is readying a proclamation that could put roughly 450,000 acres — spanning almost the entire triangle at the bottom of the Nevada map — off limits to development under the 1906 Antiquities Act.
President Biden will commit on Wednesday at the White House Tribal Nations Summit to protecting the area, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision was not yet public.










Squeezing out solar?​

In mid-November, nearly 250 people gathered at the Aquarius casino resort in Laughlin, Nev., for a two-hour public hearing with officials from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management to discuss the prospective monument. A little more than two months before, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland had visited the area and held a roundtable on the topic with Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.).
Amid a standing-room-only crowd at the casino, only about half of the monument’s backers got time to speak.
“Today is special,” Williams said. “We’ve established a map. It’s been a collaboration of a lot of different people, a lot of organizations … This is something that you don’t see every day, especially in this day and age, in this type of political environment, you don’t see this type of collaboration. And it’s here, and it’s now.”






Tribes spread out along the Colorado River have adopted resolutions endorsing a monument, including 27 of 28 tribes in the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada and all 21 in the Inter Tribal Association of Arizona.
Several sent representatives to Laughlin, offering their two-minute testimonies about how ancient sites in the area are still an active part of their lives. Artists, environmentalists, birdwatchers, dark night-sky preservationists, hunters and off-road-vehicle enthusiasts also showed up to voice support for the monument.


Frank DeRosa, vice president for policy and public affairs for the solar energy firm Avantus, said he supported the creation of a monument, but asked BLM to consider “a modest request” for a small adjustment to the map — a “sliver,” he called it, that “avoids all cultural and environmentally sensitive areas” so renewable energy companies can access transmission infrastructure from a long-decommissioned coal-fired plant in Laughlin.

This expanse of Nevada offers some of the best prospects for clean energy development in the country. The canyons here produce tremendous wind, and the sun shines 292 days per year, usually without any cloud cover. The area also boasts dozens of mining claims for rare earth elements, now coveted by the clean tech sector.
Four massive solar farms loom along U.S. 95 between Las Vegas and Searchlight. More than 100 turbines from the White Hills wind farm in Arizona are visible from some of the higher points within the proposed monument.






The Avi Kwa Ame map, as it’s been drawn, prevents similar projects from breaking ground. In previous negotiations between the town of Laughlin and Avantus — then called 8minute Solar Energy — the tribes agreed to exclude 23,000 acres from their proposal so a large solar project at the southern tip of Clark County could continue. But they would not make similar concessions for an area abutting California’s Dead Mountains Wilderness, on the grounds that the area is sacred.
Redrawing any portions of the plan now, Williams said, was not an option. “All the resolutions, all the agreements, were based on that map being presented as final.”
The BLM has identified more than 9 million acres of its land in the state for potential large-scale solar projects, according to Interior, and another 16.8 million acres for possible wind energy development. The federal government has classified roughly 83 percent of the area the tribes have proposed protecting as either wilderness or “areas of critical environmental concern,” as part of an effort to conserve critical desert tortoise habitat.
 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
18,757
20,236
113
If Biden really wanted to honor the Tribes, he would stop taking away their ability to manage their own lands.
 
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LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
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It was President Obama who told the Indians at a
reservation in Oklahoma concerning ObamaCare:
"If you like your Medicine Man, you can keep your
Medicine Man"
 
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Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
18,757
20,236
113
It was President Obama who told the Indians at a
reservation in Oklahoma concerning ObamaCare:
"If you like your Medicine Man, you can keep your
Medicine Man"
Don't forget Kerry's visit to the Apache Nation in 2004.