Friday, April 20, 2012

Environmentalists Feeling Burned by Rush to Build Solar Projects

April Sall gazed out at the Mojave Desert flashing past the car window and unreeled a story of frustration and backroom dealings.
leene Anderson, left, of the Center for Biological Diversity
and April Sall of the Wildlands Conservancy, standing
in the Mojave Desert near Death Valley, are worried about
solar projects’ effect on local ecosystems.

Her small California group, the Wildlands Conservancy, wanted to preserve 600,000 acres of the Mojave. The group raised $45 million, bought the land and deeded it to the federal government.

The conservancy intended that the land be protected forever. Instead, 12 years after accepting the largest land gift in American history, the federal government is on the verge of opening 50,000 acres of that bequest to solar development.

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