Two dozen rare Mojave Desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii could lose their homeland on protected federal lands from a growing solar-energy company. Oakland, Calif.-based BrightSource Energy would sacrifice a 6 square miles of habitat needed for the threatened desert tortoise to put up 400,000 mirrors on the site to gather the sun’s energy to power construct three solar power plants on the site that together would generate power for 142,000 homes annually. There must be a way to do both.
The clean power is needed, but we must work together to save the environment and life as we know it on this earth.
The project is good, but poorly placed.
We all must care enough to find a peaceful solution without years of wasted money on court battles.
Preserving the pristine home for rare plants and wildlife, including the protected tortoise, the Western burrowing owl and bighorn sheep is vital.
It could become the first project of its kind on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property, leaving a footprint for others to follow on vast stretches of public land across the West. The stakes are high.
Excerpts courtesy of http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100101/ap_on_bi_ge/us_solar_showdown
Image courtesy of http://geochange.er.usgs.gov/sw/impacts/biology/tortoise1/tort124.gif