Biden readies plans to make most of southern tip of Nevada off-limits to development
P resident Joe Biden announced new commitments Wednesday to protect Native American lands in southern Nevada and is reportedly readying plans to declare a new national monument around the Spirit Mountain tribal area that would put hundreds of thousands of federal acres off-limits to development .
Biden pledged at the White House Tribal Nations Summit to conserve the Spirit Mountain in southern Nevada , also known as “Awi Kwa Ame,” as well as surrounding areas.
The administration is also readying a proclamation that could declare the mountain and roughly 450,000 acres around as a national monument, the Washington Post reported .
Native Americans say the land there is sacred, and the monument declaration enjoys the broad support of tribes, local officials, and environmental groups that have fought for decades to protect the tribal, cultural, and ecological property surrounding it.
Congress also voted two decades ago to preserve the mountain and 33,000 acres surrounding it.
The national monument announcement would place nearly the entire southern tip of Nevada off-limits to development under the 1906 Antiquities Act in what is expected to be Biden’s largest land conservation declaration this term.
It could also push out renewable energy projects in the state, such as solar and wind power.
The expanse of Nevada is considered to be among the nation’s best prospects for clean energy development. It is also home to major solar farms, more than 100 visible wind turbines, and dozens of mining claims for rare earth elements critical for U.S. development of electric vehicle batteries.
The Bureau of Land Management has also identified more than 9 million acres of land in the state for possible large-scale solar projects and an additional 16.8 million acres for possible clean wind power development.
But the area has also been the center of protests from environmental activists, who have pushed to safeguard critical tribal, cultural, and ecological property.