Thursday, April 22, 2010

In the crosshairs again: Ward Valley and …

Thanks to Shaun over at the Mojave Desert Blog for his post about
giant solar farms in California, are they viable? You can read that here:

He points out in his post the many, huge solar farms that are planned
for the California deserts, several in the Colorado desert, totaling 112,966
acres or almost
200 square miles!

I noticed with interest that a massive 15,000 acres were proposed for solar
in the Twentynine Palms area, probably out east of town off of Hwy 62. That
is almost 25 square miles, you know 5 miles by 5 miles. I believe that
is desert tortoise habitat out there.
2,500 acres here, 10,000 there- I don’t
care how you mitigate it, pretty soon you are talking substantial and real
habitat loss,
to rephrase Senator Everett Dirksen’s famous quote,” a billion
dollars here, a billion dollars there, pretty soon you’re talking real money!”
And don’t forget the U.S. Marines want to take another 300,000 acres or so
to add to the base there, which already is the largest of its’ type in the whole

Now on to Ward Valley. Those poor guys out there. They just won a more than
a decade long fight, including a court battle, to keep their area, including lands
sacred to native Americans, from being turned into a nuclear, hazardous waste
dump, only to find out now that they are targeted for a more than 50
square mile solar farm!
Some corporate entity, Leopold Companies Inc
has filed for approval for solar on 35,466 acres there. I don’t know exactly where
it will be sited, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these seemingly tone deaf mappers
don’t have it set up to go right into the sacred areas! I mean look how they seem
to only want to site their plants in sensitive habitat areas, or only want to use
water cooling, in the MIDDLE OF THE DESERT. Some might say, they are not
the sharpest tools in the box, if you know what I mean.

You know I thought Ivanpah and Ridgecrest were bad, but these sites really take
the cake. Humungous, monstrous sized plants which will require huge amounts of
water, far away from civilization, requiring non-existent at the moment infrastructure
just to house the workers, needing massive upgrades of the transmission system-
it boggles the mind.

Perhaps if General George Catlett Marshall came back from the grave and took charge
of this soon to go down in history giant boondoggle, there might be some hope
that sanity and commonsense might have a chance, he would have the gravitas and
acumen required to set the priorities straight and sort things out. I really can’t think
of anyone off the top of my head capable to bring order out of this chaos- Gen. Marshall,
a Gulliver is needed while all we have are the Lilliputians, from Obama to Salazar
to Arnold”run over the tortoises”Governator. Amazing times we live in, ain’t they?

To the residents of Ward Valley, gird your loins or as Pat Buchanan would say
”mount up and ride to the sound of the guns!” We will be standing by, waiting for
more information to come out- there is a dearth of real solid information right now, or
else I just can’t find it- we are willing and able to help in any way possible with the
impending struggle to come.
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A thought for the day, albeit a gloomy one, but one with a chance for hope in the end,
we need to just keep fighting, to save the deserts and wild places, I know we didn’t
ask for it  but if not for each of us, who else will do it?

Keep the faith.



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