Tribal leaders ask Biden to designate national monuments in California

Dec 1, 2023

Tribal leaders in California are calling on President Joe Biden to use his power under the Antiquities Act to expand San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by more than 100,000 acres and designate the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park.

In a press call on Thursday hosted by Indigenous Voices of Nevada, a nonprofit aimed at bringing Indigenous values to the forefront, representatives from several Tribes discussed the importance of protecting these landscapes to preserve their cultural and historic value.

“To have the cultural and historical significance of the landscapes, the native plant species, the tribal histories, understanding what areas need protection, it’s instrumental that Tribes are involved,” said Rudy Ortega, president of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, which represents 26 Tribal nations in the Los Angeles area.

The request comes ahead of next week’s White House Tribal Nations Summit, which will be held December 6-7 in Washington D.C. At the summit, Indigenous leaders will meet with administration officials to discuss issues important to Tribal communities, including the potential for President Biden to use the Antiquities Act to permanently protect these valuable landscapes.

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Quote of the day

If the energy projects are necessary, the amount of damage they do is not. Given the vast expanse of the public lands, there are bound to be places that are appropriate for development, as well as many others that are not.”

—Jonathan Thompson, contributing editor, High Country News

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In a perfect snapshot of savoring the moment, this kit fox on BLM Utah #publiclands captures the essence of autumn’s fleeting charm. Its quiet presence amidst the crisp air reminds us to pause and appreciate the peaceful beauty of the season.
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Feature photo: Near Corn Springs Campground within the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument. Source: Bureau of Land Management, rawpixel