View Post

Develop This, Says the DRECP

See this view from high in Juniper Flats? Now picture it with myriad 300-acre swaths of shimmering PV panels, industrial wind farms featuring 500-foot-tall wind turbines, and wide new roads blasted across the delicate desert soil. And imagine the whole scene crisscrossed by giant transmission towers and networks of 500kv transmission lines. That’s only if you can see anything through the dust kicked up from …

View Post

Rock Climbing in Grapevine Canyon

Rock climbers may not flock to Juniper Flats like they do to Joshua Tree National Park, but those in the know, know. Granite formations like these, towering 60 to 80 feet high and featuring cracks, chimneys, and high-friction faces, stand high in the San Bernardino Mountains foothills in the upper elevations of Juniper Flats. A few curious climbers have spotted them from Highway 18 far …

View Post

Endangered Species of the Week: Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

One in a series of articles spotlighting endangered, threatened, and species of special concern that would be endangered by industrial-scale energy projects in the High Mojave Desert. As you would imagine, the southwestern willow flycatcher’s main behavior is catching flies. With a wingspan of around eight inches, these mottled tan little ones can hover for their prey, and will build a new nest right on …

View Post

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN TO PRESERVE JUNIPER FLATS 

The Alliance for Desert Preservation has announced a campaign to secure National Conservation Land status for Juniper Flats, a 100,000-acre area managed by the Bureau of Land Management, stretching along High Desert ridgelines from Lucerne Valley to Apple Valley, California. The recently released draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) proposes to designate a substantial portion of Juniper Flats as an Area of Environmental Concern …

View Post

Cultural Treasures Slated for Destruction

Here’s a filmmaker’s take on giant energy projects targeting the Mojave Desert. Because these projects necessarily have to scrape bare hundreds, even thousands, of acres of fragile desert land, the Mojave, says Robert Lundahl, could become “a world-class sand-transport laboratory.” “Plants hold sand in place,” he reminds us, and “when plants are removed, ancient sands begin to travel.” He notes that the public agencies responsible …

View Post

Speak Out on the DRECP! Public Comment Meetings Announced

The High Desert has been targeted for intensive energy development under the preferred alternative of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). Vast tracts of land in and around Lucerne Valley, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Adelanto are considered Development Focus Areas. That means industrial-scale solar and wind projects can be fast-tracked throughout our beautiful High Desert. 

But it’s not a “done deal.” The Alliance …

View Post

Release of Draft DRECP Raises Serious Concerns

On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, a consortium of federal and California state agencies, led by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, held an event to announce the release of their draft master plan for renewable energy in the California desert. The event took place in North Palm Springs, California, against a backdrop of hundreds of wind turbines, many of which were turning very slowly or …