LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he intends to designate Spirit Mountain as Nevada’s next national monument under the Antiquities Act.

“I’m grateful so many of you have led the fight to protect it,” Biden said at the White House Tribal Nations Summit.

Spirit Mountain, also known by the Mohave name Avi Kwa Ame and the surrounding land, is located in the southern tip of Nevada and is sacred land to 12 Native American tribes that have fought for decades to protect the land.

“Avi Kwa Ame’s story is one of perseverance and passion,” said Nevada Rep. Dina Titus, who introduced the legislation to protect the land. “I am pleased that President Biden has listened to Southern Nevada stakeholders, including indigenous leaders, environmentalists, and outdoor recreationalists to protect this sacred land.”

The monument is comprised of around 450,000 acres within the Mojave Desert. Making the land a national monument would protect it from development.

Supporters of the new designation released the following statement:

“Earlier in November, tribal leaders and members, monument supporters, and the general public made their voices heard about this culturally and ecologically significant proposal and the need to safeguard these resources for future generations.”

Honor Avi Kwa Ame Coalition

A Clark County spokesman issued the following statement in regard to the area.

Clark County recognizes the great significance of the Avi Kwa Ame region to tribal communities as well as conservationists. We continue to work with stakeholders at the federal level to ensure that while we are protecting these lands, we are also advocating for the future operational abilities of Harry Reid International Airport as well as our other important economic institutions. We support the efforts to maintain the beauty of this sacred land

Clark County spokesman

The proposed national monument includes petroglyphs, mining and pioneer-era artifacts, and rare and threatened wildlife such as the Mojave Desert tortoise and desert bighorn sheep. To be designated a national monument under the Antiquities Act, the area must have objects of historic or scientific interest already controlled by the federal government.

Once the land is designated as a national monument, it could be administered by the National Park Service, which oversees many national monuments. In that case, it would be subject to the same laws and policies that govern other units of the National Park System.

Other nearby national monuments are:

  • Tule Springs Fossil Beds (Nevada)
  • Gold Butte (Nevada)
  • Basin and Range (Nevada
  • Castle Mountains (California)
  • Grand Canyon-Parashant (Arizona)
  • Sunset Crater Volcano (Arizona)
  • Cedar Breaks (Utah)