Protect Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge from the impacts of mining

Ash Meadows Refuge in southern Nevada is one of the most unique and sensitive in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Its groundwater-fed springs are an oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert, supporting a hotspot of biodiversity that has been likened to the Galapagos Islands. The refuge supports 26 species found nowhere else, of which 12 are listed as threatened or endangered.

Because the wildlife of Ash Meadows are dependent on springs, they are vulnerable to activities occurring outside the refuge boundaries. A recently proposed lithium mine would be located on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management just a few hundred feet from the refuge. The project’s exploratory drilling could disrupt the flow of groundwater into the refuge and deplete the water in the springs. If that occurred, multiple species could lose their only habitats and be at risk of extinction.

Defenders of Wildlife and our partners are working to stop the mine. We have already convinced the BLM to reverse its initial approval of the project and to require a thorough environmental analysis. However, the project is still pushing forward, and could pave the way for more mining in the area.

To protect the refuge and its wildlife, we are seeking a mineral withdrawal of the BLM lands surrounding the refuge. This would close those lands to any new mining claims, safeguarding the groundwater that is the lifeblood of Ash Meadows.

Add your signature: Support a mineral withdrawal to protect this priceless refuge.


Defenders of Wildlife

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