Kw’tsán proposed National Monument – Gold Project Stopped!

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Kw’tsán proposed National Monument – Gold Project Stopped!

Date: 04/17/2024     State: AZ     Issues: Mining, Watersheds, Wild Lands     Partners: Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe, Imperial Valley Equity & Justice Coalition, Native American Land Conservancy Airport Origin : Yuma, AZ    


Shortly after Orzo Cruz Gold, a proposed massive exploratory project within the draft national monument boundaries, was denied, we flew with the Quechan Tribe, Native American Land Conservancy, and Imperial Valley Equity & Justice Coalition to advocate and garner support for national monument protection.

In early February, the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe called on President Biden to protect their ancestral homelands in California through a national monument designation. We flew over the proposed Kw'tsán National Monument, viewing portions of the gorgeous 390,000 acres that could be protected, creating continuous, safeguarded habitat through Avi Kwa Ame, Avi Kwa Lal, Palo Verde Peak, and the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument. The landscape is rich in historical and cultural resources, and remains central to the Quechan Tribe’s spiritual practices, being a place where song and religious ceremonies are held and where sacred sites, trail systems, artifacts, and petroglyphs connect the Tribe to their ancestors and beliefs. A national monument designation would preserve habitat and wildlife corridors for diverse species many of which are endangered, including the Desert Tortoise, Woodhouse's Toad, roadrunner, black-tailed jackrabbit, kit grebe chuckwalla, coyote, and birds who utilize the critical bird migration flyway located on the eastern side of the proposed monument.

Currently, this area is without proper and meaningful protections and in the past century, has been scarred by multiple mining projects and harmful industrial development. It continues to be threatened - recently, the massive Oro Cruz gold exploration project inside the proposed national monument boundary was denied, a massive victory in the Quechan Tribe’s fight to protect their ancestral homelands.

We created these videos with the Tribe to showcase the overwhelming aesthetic, ecological, and cultural values of the Kw'tsán landscape. They are free for your advocacy use - please share and credit EcoFlight.

EcoFlight will continue to fly in support of Kw'tsán National Monument's designation and the preservation of California’s public lands.

Click for photos from the the flights. Click for EcoFlight’s Kw'tsán photo collection. Click for geo-referenced photos from the 4/15 flight or the 4/16 flights.

Flight Images

Flight Location