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Solar power and native American rights clash in the Mojave Desert
April 18, 2015 10:00 AM - Roy L Hales & Robert Lundahl, ECOreport

In a remote corner of the Mojave Desert, 15 miles from Las Vegas, stands the expansive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. Occupying 5 square miles, the facility seems to swallow up a stunning expanse of desert including animals, plants and now, spiritual and cultural resources.

Native elders filed a suit against the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Energy in 2010, for failure to properly consult with the tribes in regard to the development of six renewable projects.

Litigants Alfredo Figueroa (Yaqui/Chemehuevi), Phillip Smith (Chemehuevi), and Reverend Ron Van Fleet (Mojave) complain that the government and the companies involved have lent a deaf ear to their concerns, which has brought a new level of anxiety and spiritual pain to people who have long felt their voices muffled in the face of commercial development by others.

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Five Years and Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
April 17, 2015 09:37 AM - National Wildlife Federation

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, sending oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days, wildlife are still struggling. The Gulf, with its deep waters, sandy beaches, lush wetlands and coral reefs, is a vast system that supports more than 15,000 species of wildlife – fish, birds, marine mammals and many, many others.

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation looks at how 20 types of wildlife that depend on a healthy Gulf are faring in the wake of the BP oil spill. The full extent of the spill’s impacts may take years or even decades to unfold, but Five Years & Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster examines what the science tells us so far.

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SPOTLIGHT

California's Water Situation is Beyond an Emergency

Roy L Hales & Robert Lundahl

Originally Published on the ECOreport

California’s water situation is beyond an emergency, according to Healdsburg resident Dave Howard. He and his sons returned from a “ski trip” in Northern California.

“The peaks are as bald as they normally are in August! Where’s the snow pack that’s supposed to be providing us water all summer? It’s zero folks. There is nothing there,” he said.

They proceeded on to Northstar ski resort. On a normal year there are more than a hundred runs. The temperatures are low enough and Northstar is making it’s own snow. Dave dropped his sons off, to go ahead.

“They did one run, then called me and said, ‘Dad we’re done. This is stupid. There is only one run worth doing and everyone is on it. This is not even worth spending any time on,” said Dave.

He added, “Northstar is scraping for their lives. Where’s their Spring skiing? It doesn’t exist. There in March, they’ve had a bad season already and its not going to get any better. There’s no hope on the horizon for those guys.”

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