Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mojave Desert Musings

Some noteworthy broadcasts in the Mojave Desert this week:

1.) Desert wildflower watchers are forecasting a great spring for the desert blooms.  You can read up on regular status reports on DesertUSA.  You can also learn more about blooming periods by region at the Digital Desert's website.

2.) The New York Times Greenwire Blog posted an assessment of Feinstein's proposed California Desert Protection Act 2010 (CDPA 2010), emphasizing the legislation's intention to encourage more renewable energy development on military bases in the Mojave Desert (Fort Irwin, 29 Palms, Edwards AFB).

3.) A bird count sponsored by the National Audobon Society at Joshua Tree National Park counted a total of 3,067 birds across nearly 50 different species according to the Hi-Desert Star.

4.) The California Energy Commission (CEC) began its evidentiary hearings on the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Site, and the hearings are set to continue on 11 January, with presentations from the Sierra Club, the California Native Plant Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Center for Biological Diversity.   Brightsource Energy is complaining about the costs of relocating desert tortoises found on the site and the requirement that the company should purchase land to mitigate the loss of desert tortoise habitat.  The CEC staff posted a 189 page response to BrightSource Energy complaints and proposed revisions, which I still need to review and I will post a summary/analysis of it on the blog.   In the meantime, you can check out my previous post on BrightSource's complaints here.

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