WASHINGTON, D.C. – Designating Avi Kwa Ame and Castner Range as national monuments will help protect and honor Indigenous and historic sites, safeguard wildlife, conserve water sources, and expand access to nature. The National Wildlife Federation commended the Biden Administration for listening to Tribal Nations and local community leaders, recreationists, hunters, and other conservationists who have long advocated to permanently protect these lands in Nevada and Texas.
“National monument status for Avi Kwa Ame will benefit wildlife and people alike as the lands they depend on will be conserved and restored for future generations. In addition, sites of significance for a dozen Tribes in the region will be permanently protected and opportunities for outdoor recreation in Nevada will be expanded,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, who attended today’s announcement. “For more than 50 years, community groups in El Paso have fought for protections for Castner Range so that wildlife migration corridors are safeguarded, historic sites dating back 14,000 years preserved, and access to nature is expanded for residents of El Paso and the surrounding area – particularly for those who have traditionally lacked access.”
“Nevada’s famed bighorn sheep and other wildlife depend on migration corridors that pass through the Avi Kwa Ame region. Permanent protections for this area will ensure that species can migrate, survive, and thrive in the midst of a changing climate,” said Russell Kuhlman, executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation. “The Nevada Wildlife Federation looks forward to working with the Biden Administration and other local partners to ensure that the stewardship of the new monument respects and protects wildlife, sacred Indigenous sites, sporting traditions, and responsible outdoor recreation.”
“We are very excited to learn that President Biden has finally used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the Castner Range National Monument. The local community has advocated long and hard for this day, and today we celebrate this victory with them,” said Camilla Simon, executive director of Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO). “The monument designation increases access to and protects a unique mountain range in a highly urban area, and will benefit people from all economic backgrounds, while reflecting and honoring the local communities and the history and culture of the people who live there.”
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