|A photo of the cavedwelling evening primrose (Oenothera cavernae) in bloom. Photo by James M. Andre, copyright 2008.|
Saturday, February 12, 2011
A Glimpse of What is at Stake: New Plant Species
The cavedwelling evening primrose (Oenothera cavernae), a rare desert forb, was discovered in the Ivanpah Valley in 2006, and it is still being studied by botanists. Desert experts continue to discover new species of plants and reptiles in California's desert, so it is understandable that citizens are concerned about Federal government and energy company plans to bulldoze hundreds of square miles of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, likely wiping out undiscovered or little-understood species.
Energy companies plan to destroy over 20 square miles of pristine desert habitat in the Ivanpah Valley to build three solar facilities--Stateline and Silver State by First Solar Inc, and ISEGS by BrightSource Energy. Some environmental organization shave asked developers to move such projects to land that is already disturbed or, better yet, distributed generation (rooftop solar).