Governor Tears Into Biden for “National Monuments”

Governor Tears Into Biden for

( – President Joe Biden created two new national monuments on March 21 under the Antiquities Act of 1906. The move federally protected about 510,000 acres of land in Nevada and Texas, causing Nevada’s governor outrage. The protection blocks Nevada’s plans to mine areas for their rich mineral deposits. Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo (R) called the administration’s decision “federal confiscation,” adding that it was a “historic mistake.”

Lombardo tore into Biden almost immediately after the declaration. He said the administration made its decision without asking for input, adding the deal will derail his pre-existing plans for the territory. Local indigenous people hold sacred the 506,814 acres of land known as the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. The southern Nevada location includes the Mojave Desert and a peak called Spirit Mountain, which several groups revere as a particularly holy site. Hopi, Southern Paiute, and Yuman-speaking tribes have long fought to protect the land from development for “its religious and cultural importance.”

Lombardo feels the state could put the land to far better use without the monument protections. He points to the rare mineral deposits in the area, which he claims the state was counting on for economic development. Among the riches the governor planned to uncover is lithium, a vital element in manufacturing electric car batteries. According to the Nevada governor, his state stands to lose economic opportunities over what he views as special interests in Washington, DC. In the same stroke, residents are likely to suffer due to ever-increasing prices on land, which hinder affordable housing developments and investments in infrastructure.

Biden has defended the move, stating Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is home to “one of the largest contiguous wildlife corridors in the United States,” which he described as “breathtaking,” according to Fox News. He also mentioned the Texas location, Castner Range, a nearly 7,000-acre patch near El Paso, which the president also described as beautiful. POLITICO shared that Biden is also pushing for a 777,000-square-mile marine sanctuary off the coast of Hawaii. The decision on that action falls on the shoulders of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, and should come within the next month.

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