25 Mar NEW THREAT OF DEVELOPMENT IGNITES EFFORTS TO PROTECT NEVADA’S PROPOSED AVI KWA AME NATIONAL MONUMENT
An application submitted by Eolus Vind AB, a Swedish wind power developer, for Kulning Wind, a project on the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Clark County, has heightened efforts to protect the region. The 380,000 acres sacred to 12 Native Tribes is a critical wildlife habitat and offers extensive outdoor recreation opportunities. An alliance of national and local conservation groups and tribes asks the public to take action by signing the petition at www.honorspiritmountain.org.
The alliance wants the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reject the application for failing to address problems already identified in 2018 when the Department of the Interior denied the Eolus’ Crescent Peak Wind project slated for the same area. Back then, it was determined that the Crescent Peak Wind project did not conform to the approved Las Vegas RMP. The project would create conflicts with resource uses, including hunting, mining, tribal values, military training missions, and county development. The BLM rejected crescent Peak Wind.
“Kulning Wind presents the same issues as Eolus’ 2018 application. For example, the development would likely undermine the use of the region by bighorn sheep and would introduce an unnecessary wildfire risk, threatening Wee Thump and South McCullough wildernesses, among many other concerns,” says Paul Selberg, Nevada Conservation League’s executive director. “Decisions on where to develop renewable energy must be evaluated critically and placed in areas that are appropriate.”
In 2019, the Tribal Council for the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe adopted a resolution supporting BLM’s decision to terminate Crescent Peak Wind. The resolution also expressed the Tribal Council’s support for establishing the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.
“Avi Kwa Ame is a sacred cultural corridor that must be protected from harmful developments like the
proposed Kulning Wind project,” says Taylor Patterson, executive director, Native Voters Alliance Nevada. “We must respect the natural stewards of this land, the Indigenous People of this area, and create full protections for this land.”
If designated Nevada’s fourth national monument, Avi Kwa Ame’s 380,000 acres will create a massive contiguous block of protected land critical to 30 by 30, an initiative with strong bipartisan support. Avi Kwa Ame will also be an economic driver for Nevada. The area is a hotbed for outdoor recreation, which in 2019 accounted for nearly $5.5 billion in Nevada’s economic output, up from roughly $5.1 billion in 2017. It will provide economic power to neighboring communities like Searchlight, Laughlin, and nearby Las Vegas.
For more information, please visit www.honorspiritmountain.org.