STOP the Proposed Silurian Valley Wind/Solar Project!

©2013 Michael E. Gordon

©2013 Michael E. Gordon

Dear Readers and friends of the California Desert, I need your help opposing the proposed Silurian Valley Solar/Wind Project which is slated for development southeast of Death Valley National Park. The proposed project would be a 200 megawatt solar facility consisting of multiple arrays of photovoltaic panels, 44 miles of service roads, a project substation, an operation & maintenance facilities including an aerial generation transmission line and will impact 7,219 acres of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approximately 10 miles north of Baker, San Bernardino County, along State Highway 127. Silurian Valley remains in a nearly pristine state just outside Death Valley National Park, just north of Mojave National Preserve, and is directly adjacent to the Hollow Hills Wilderness and Kingston Range Wilderness areasthis is simply the wrong location for this project. In mid-2013, National Geographic released a special publication entitled ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Places‘ in which the Mojave Desert was named as one of the 100 most remarkable destinations:

“Far from the madding metropolitan crowds of Las Vegas and Los Angeles that surround it, the Mojave Desert offers the balm of silence and solitude. Canyons, giant mesas, mountains, towering dunes, and vast, dust-dry plains make up one of North America’s most elemental landscapes. It is a world little touched by humans, save for the odd crumbling mine or homestead, but one which nature adorns with the beauty of the Joshua tree and spring’s brief-lived wildflowers…”

©2013 Michael E. Gordon

©2013 Michael E. Gordon

Renewable energy projects should be smart from the start, but the  proposed Silurian Valley Solar/Wind Project is a poster child for inappropriately sited renewable energy projects which threatens scenic view-sheds and critical wildlife habitat in a presently undisturbed valley. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recommends that BLM reject the proposal “because of its potential for substantial adverse effects on trust resources including desert tortoises, migratory birds, and golden eagles. The proposed project would introduce a substantial amount of human impact into an area that is currently undisturbed”. Solar panels belong in urban areas, on roof tops, canopies over parking lots, public parks, along freeways, train tracks, and other suitable locations within the areas where it is consumed – NOT on our public wildlands and NOT in Silurian Valley.

With your help we can help the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to understand the full range of impacts this project proposes for wildlife, viewshed, Death Valley National Park, and adjacent Wilderness Study Areas. Together we can ensure that the BLM does not blindly approve this harmful project (what’s wrong with “green” energy?).

©2013 Michael E. Gordon

©2013 Michael E. Gordon

I urge you to please submit your written comments by the May 28, 2014 deadline to:

Katrina Symons
BLM Barstow Field Manager
2601 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311
or by email at Silurian_Valley_Solar@blm.gov

Please share this post widely with others who care about our National Parks, protecting public lands and open space from industrialized corporate development, preserving desert wildlife and views, and with those who care about holding subsidized developers responsible for not harming our world-famous deserts (tourists travel from around the world to take in our vast and timeless desert views). PLEASE HELP STOP the Silurian Valley Solar/Wind Project!

Additional reading:

Basin and Range Watch Silurian Valley page (comprehensive details, maps, photos)

USDA Fish & Wildlife Service comments AGAINST the Proposal

* Silurian Valley Solar: Beautiful Bureaucracy at Work

* Mojave Desert Blog: Ode to Silurian Valley

* The Wilderness Society: California’s Silurian Valley

* L.A. Times article: The Wrong Sites for Solar

* Sacrificial Land: Will renewable energy devour the Mojave Desert? (High Country News)

You are visiting the blog of fine art landscape photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website. You can also find Michael on FacebookGoogle+, and  Twitter.

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21 thoughts on “STOP the Proposed Silurian Valley Wind/Solar Project!

  1. They’re proposing industrial scale solar up here in Owens, Deep Springs and Fish Lake Valleys as well. We’re going to start entering some very tricky environmental territory, with global warming and renewable energy concerns being pitted against landscape and ecological preservation. I don’t pretend to know the right answer, but it would be heartbreaking to see the Mojave and Great Basin filled with solar panels in every valley and windmills on every ridge. There are some hard choices and hard fights coming our way, I’m afraid.

  2. Pingback: STOP the Proposed Silurian Valley Wind/Solar Project! | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

  3. I’m doing research and was shocked (perhaps I should be past the shocked phrase) regarding this development in this California desert.

    Our group has been fighting the Industrialization of the Great Lakes. What a battle! And conservation groups are very PRO wind in our fresh water because “All things must be done to STOP Climate Change.” I still haven’t figured out how destroying the environment really helps “SAVE” the world. It is sad. I found your name on Garry Rogers’ site – looking from Allies of Wind-Watch.org to get contact names to assist in more signatures apposing Wind in the Great Lakes.

    The powers-to-be want to start in Cleveland OHIO with a project offshore BUT this small Industrial Wind project will open the flood-gates for all the Great Lakes.

    I want to wish you luck with your project to stop this destruction in the Silurian Valley and hope you will take a few minutes to sign the poll against Wind at:

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2014/03/proposed_lake_erie_wind_farm_c.html

    Thank you.

  4. We are starting to get these horrid things in beautiful Yorkshire where I live in England. The Bronte moors around Haworth are earmarked for development. Good Luck…these should be banned!

  5. Pingback: Silurian Valley Solar: Beautiful Bureaucracy at Work : Quiet Mike

  6. Pingback: The Artist as Activist | MICHAEL E. GORDON PHOTOGRAPHY

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