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Showing posts from 2017

Searchlight Wind Project Retreats, But Future of Wildlands Remains In Doubt

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The Searchlight Wind project threatening wildlands in Nevada's Piute Valley has been cancelled, according to Basin & Range Watch communication with the Bureau of Land Management.  The Searchlight Wind project would have converted nearly 29 square miles of wildlands into an industrial zone, with 87 towering wind turbines and at least 35 miles of new access roads carved into the desert around the small outpost of Searchlight.  The project suffered legal setbacks after Basin & Range Watch and the Friends of Searchlight Desert and Mountains pointed out that the Department of Interior's environmental review downplayed the project's potential impacts on wildlife.


The Piute Valley, however, continues to face the threat of industrial-scale energy development.  A Sweden-based company plans to build the Crescent Peak Wind project on the western edge of the Valley along the California-Nevada border.  The project, if built, would industrialize an even larger swath of desert wi…

The Absurdity of the Cadiz Water Export Scheme

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The Department of Interior this month reversed a policy to make it easier for the Cadiz company to pump billions of gallons of water from an ancient Mojave Desert aquifer - killing off natural springs that wildlife depend upon - to ship that water to the lush landscaping of Orange County.   Cadiz still has other hurdles in its way, but the company's tenacity and willingness to line the pockets of politicians could spell doom for Mojave wildlife.

Cadiz Calls it Conservation
The Cadiz company has a contract to export nearly 16.3 billion gallons (yes, that is billion with a 'b') a year for 50 years from the Mojave to the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) in Orange County.  The Cadiz company claims that it will only pump water that would otherwise evaporate from a dry lake bed and that the aquifer will naturally recharge from rainfall, leaving no significant impacts on wildlife or groundwater levels.  According to Cadiz propaganda, this isn't a water export scheme, bu…

Clark County Leaders Look to Encourage More Sprawl

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Clark County Commissioners seem intent on approving more urban sprawl in the Las Vegas Valley at a meeting on February 7.  On the meeting's agenda is a plan by Gypsum Resources to build a nearly 5,000-home community on top of Blue Diamond Hill on the edge of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a popular outdoor escape near Las Vegas, Nevada.  The County Commissioners have been advised by their own planning commission not to approve the project because the development would be a significant departure from the county's original master plan that requires the area remain low-density and rural.

The County is suing a grassroots community group opposed to the Blue Diamond Hill sprawl in an effort to undermine opposition to the plans, suggesting the County Commissioners are on the side of the developer.  If built, the tract homes and businesses would be visible to visitors at Red Rock Canyon, increase light pollution, and add significant traffic congestion to nearby roads that…