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Several California tribes will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create or enlarge national monuments

California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create or expand several national monuments. Suzanne Potter of California news Service has more.

The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla tribe in the Coachella Valley would like the president to establish a new Chuckwalla National Monument and expand Joshua Tree National Park. Torres Martinez chairman Thomas Tortez says the area is an important wildlife corridor.

"The proposed monument would preserve this cultural landscape by providing protections to multi-use trail systems established by our ancestors, sacred sites and objects, traditional cultural places, geoglyphs, petroglyphs, pictographs, plants and wildlife."

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has created five national monuments using the Antiquities Act. Congress is also considering legislation to create or enlarge national monuments. The two-day summit draws tribal leaders from across the nation to discuss a range of issues.

President Rudy Ortega Jr. of the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians wants Biden to add another 109-thousand acres to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

"In Los Angeles, we're massively overgrown and we need to protect these landscapes so that doesn't further continue the construction of houses and businesses and so on, but an area to give green space."

Brandy McDaniels is the Pit River Nation's lead for the Satittla National Monument, which if established, would protect a little more than 200-thousand acres in the Medicine Lake Highlands near Mount Shasta.

"Satittla is culturally, historically and scientifically important to the world, serving as a buffer to climate change, and provides immense amounts of pure water, natural storage and resources to a large portion of California."

Tribes are also seeking an expansion of the Berryessa Snow National Monument in Lake County.

Suzanne Potter is a journalist with 30 years of experience as a reporter for TV, radio and print news. She spent 15 years as a local TV news reporter in Palm Springs, CA and Providence, RI. She earned a B.A. in Mass Communications from UC Berkeley and spent a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. She lives in Palm Desert, CA, is married with four children and is a longtime leader with the Boy Scouts of America.