Showing posts from April, 2018

The Curious Case of the Clapper Rail and the Solar Project

Yuma Ridgway's Rail. Also known as the Yuma Clapper Rail Photo by Courtney Conway, USGS The Department of Interior abruptly changed its assessment regarding the threat posed to the endangered Yuma Ridgway's rail (also called the Yuma Clapper rail ) by industrial-scale solar projects, clearing the way for First Solar to build  the Sunshine Valley Solar project next to one of the bird's few remaining strongholds.  In 2014, Interior initially described the potential for the endangered birds to die at the Sunshine Valley Solar project as "likely."  The more recent Interior memo , obtained by Basin & Range Watch,  now describes the threat as "unquantifiably low." Interior's recent memo does not explain why it downgraded the threat even after two of the endangered birds were found dead at large-scale solar projects in the desert southwest in recent years.  Fewer Than 1,000 Birds Remaining The reclusive Yuma Ridgway's ail is known to nes