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Showing posts with the label california

Project Bobcat

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You'll notice that I have a new "Take Action to Protect Bobcats" page listed on the tabs underneath the banner photo of this blog.  Residents in Joshua Tree recently became aware that bobcats were being trapped and killed across much of California's deserts for their furs, which are then sold to markets in Russia and China.  The same market forces that lead to ruthless poaching for ivory in other countries is now impacting our deserts by removing a key predator from the ecosystem.  However, in California it is legal to kill as many bobcats as you would like.  This is an outdated policy that could have serious ecological repercussions.

The folks organizing to protect these wonderful animals have started Project Bobcat, and they are supporting the Bobcat Protection Act (Assembly Bill 1213) in the California legislature.  This bill, as it currently reads, would make it unlawful to kill bobcats in the area around Joshua Tree National Park,  propose rulemaking to limit bob…

Your tax dollars at work...

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Secretary of Interior Kenneth Salazar and California Governor Jerry Brown stand with executives from German firm Solar Millennium during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Blythe Solar power project.  Even though Solar Millennium's board is under investigation for misappropriation of funds and embezzlement, Mr. Salazar ok'd the project and over 2.1 billion dollars in taxpayer-backed loans and grants for the company.  Initial stages of construction have also destroyed part of a Native American sacred site.

According to the Department of Interior, these massive solar power projects on public land are called the "New Energy Frontier" --seems like just another version of corporate greed, scandal and disrespect for the public's land and money.   Perhaps they are ignoring the real energy frontier-- the untapped potential of rooftop solar, which energy experts assess can meet much of our energy demand in the southwest without sacrificing public land.

Preliminary Environmental Data for Pisgah Solar Project

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You can review preliminary data submitted by Stirling Energy Systems (SES) for its application to build a solar power plant just west of Pisgah, CA along the I-40 and Route 66. The PDF file is listed under "Applicant's Documents" on this California Energy Commission site. Some of the land requested from BLM may have been donated to BLM by the Wildlands Conservancy (former "Catellus" lands). This begs the question, can the Federal Government properly steward land intended for conservation, which presumably was the intent of the Wildlands Conservancy's acquisition and donation.

What I do like about the site is that it's located relatively close to disturbed agricultural land and probably will not impact some of the Mojave's more impressive view sheds. This makes the project more agreeable, especially when compared to the impact of the Ivanpah site in the Eastern Mojave. That said, it will be interesting to see the full Environmental Impact State…