Celebrate Public Lands Day In the Great Outdoors
Monday, September 19, 2022
This week you can visit a sacred mountain, help clean up a park, and more to honor Public Lands Day, which is this Saturday.
Conservation groups are hosting a webinar tonight and a hike Sunday to promote national monument status for Avi Kwa Ame, a vast wilderness outside Laughlin in southern Nevada.
Craig Bakerjian, campaign manager for the Avi Kwa Ame Coalition, explained the area's importance.
"Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain," Bakerjian pointed out. "This is culturally significant to 10 Yuman-speaking tribes, as well as a habitat for many protected species of plants and animals, such as desert tortoise."
Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., introduced a bill to create the national monument in February. And U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland toured the area a few weeks ago. The coalition hopes the Biden administration will establish the monument under the Antiquities Act later this year.
Bakerjian argued protecting public lands will help the country achieve President Joe Biden's 30x30 initiative, to protect 30% of the nation's land and water by the year 2030.
"By conserving large swaths of our public lands, and keeping them free from development, we are creating carbon sinks, which help offset some of the man-made climate change we're experiencing," Bakerjian noted.
People can also celebrate Public Lands Week by helping at a cleanup event on Saturday at Desert Breeze Park in Las Vegas followed by a press conference with state leaders.
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