Ranking Member Grijalva Cheers Avi Kwa Ame and Castner Range National Monuments, Pacific Remote Islands Conservation

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on President Biden’s designation of two new national monuments: Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada and Castner Range National Monument in Texas. President Biden also announced that he will be directing the Secretary of Commerce to initiate a new National Marine Sanctuary designation for the U.S. waters surrounding the Pacific Remote Islands, as well as several other conservation actions, including an Ocean Climate Action Plan.

“Today’s designations of Avi Kwa Ame and Castner Range National Monuments are unquestionably major wins for conservation, but they are also huge victories for including tribal voices in our public lands decisions,” said Ranking Member Grijalva. “Tribal consultation and Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge should continue to be put at the forefront of federal decision-making, especially when it comes to protecting and respecting the ancestral homelands and cultural resources of Indigenous Peoples.

“I’m also pleased to see that this administration understands that our oceans—which absorb a quarter of all carbon pollution—are a critical component in our fight against climate change. The Biden administration’s plan to protect our oceans and coastal habitats is the kind of bold action we need to reach our climate goals before our ‘rapidly closing window of opportunity’ shuts for good.”

This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report in which it stated, “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all (very high confidence).”

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Lindsay Gressard