Wednesday, April 06, 2016

BLM OKs Industrial Solar Project That Would Block Bighorn Sheep Movement in Mojave

The Bureau of Land Management today issued a decision allowing the Soda Mountain Solar project to move forward on developing more than 2,813 acres of public land directly adjacent to the Mojave National Preserve that would cut off a vital route for desert bighorn sheep and damage other desert resources. This massive, industrial solar array would block the last, best linkage for desert bighorn sheep between the Mojave National Preserve and the Soda Mountain Wilderness Study Area — a key pinch-point for keeping the sheep populations in the preserve connected to populations in the Soda Mountains and ranges beyond. The Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife oppose the decision because the project will affect biological, cultural and water resources on the site and in the adjacent Mojave National Preserve. It also runs counter to the principles adopted in the desert-wide planning under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan because it fragments important habitat and increases sprawl. “We need to get off fossil fuels and transition to renewable-energy generation, but it has to be done right,” said Ileene Anderson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are other ways to implement this amount of renewable energy without hurting our precious wildlife and irreplaceable parks.” release

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