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Tribal leaders and elected officials express their support at the DOI’s community meeting for Chuckwalla National Monument

Protect Chuckwalla National Monument /

Earlier Friday, the Department of the Interior (DOI) held a meeting to hear community feedback, including Tribal leaders and elected officials who called on President Biden to designate the Chuckwalla National Monument.

Representatives from the department and the Bureau of Land Management attended to hear from Tribal leaders, elected officials and community members.

The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument includes approximately 627,000 acres of public lands. It is located south of Joshua Tree National Park and reaches from the Coachella Valley to the Colorado River.

The monument would be critical to California’s efforts to fight climate change and conserve biodiversity, the Protect Chuckwalla coalition stated. Because of its size, the monument would contribute to state and federal commitments to protect at least 30% of public lands and coastal waters by 2030. Additionally, it would benefit local wildlife.

Over 700 attendees and 86% of speakers showed their support for the proposal.

“Establishing the Chuckwalla National Monument across California’s vast desert landscape would help us fight the climate crisis, protect critical wildlife corridors, preserve sacred tribal sites, and improve equitable access to nature for our local communities,” said U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA).

Local leaders have called for President Biden to designate the Chuckwalla National Monument with the Antiquities Act — a 1906 law that allows presidents to designate federal public lands as national monuments with a Presidential Proclamation. 

"Today’s meeting was a crucial step in our continued efforts," said Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz (CA-25). “This monument will positively impact the environment, boost the economy, and enhance public health.”

The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument coincides with the goals of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), which identified areas suitable for renewable energy development as well as lands that should be safeguarded for their biological, cultural, recreation, and other values.

Honoring Tribal sovereignty and introducing methods for Tribes to co-steward their homelands as partners with federal agencies is awaiting action as well. The Chuckwalla Monument proposal would be part of a landscape that amplifies spiritual significance and interconnected resources that would sustain the well-being of Indigenous peoples.

“Our footsteps are etched into the landscape since the beginning of time and we continue to persist in modern times, still providing stewardship over these lands," stated Jordan D. Joaquin, president of the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe. "We are wholeheartedly in support of the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument.”

To learn more about this effort visit

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Holly Hinman


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