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Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors



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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Solar in the City or the Desert?

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Consensus elusive on proposed desert solar projects


http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_S_solar12.3889b12.html

5/12/2009--Dozens of companies have submitted applications to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for solar projects on nearly 600,000 acres in the California desert. Some environmental groups worry that the developments will harm endangered wildlife and disrupt desert vistas.

... Not too fast, countered Bill Corcoran, a Los Angeles-based representative of the Sierra Club. Much of the public land under consideration for large solar plants is pristine and should be preserved for future generations, he said.

That terrain includes former railroad property in the Mojave Desert that conservationists acquired about a decade ago and donated to the federal government.

"It is important the public lands that were bought for conservation should be given that conservation protection," Corcoran said.

He added that the Sierra Club favors solar energy development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

Corcoran proposed that the federal government establish a system of tax and regulatory incentives to push much of the solar development onto abandoned farms and other disturbed acreage -- much of it near towns and cities -- that has little habitat or conservation value.

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A statement from the feds:

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