Press Release Nov 20, 2014

National Parks Group Applauds Lights Out Decision for Silurian Valley Solar Proposal

Statement by David Lamfrom, California Desert Associate Director, National Parks Conservation Association

“The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) recognizes the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) leadership in rightfully denying the Silurian Valley solar energy proposal. Today’s decision is a powerful step forward for the BLM and its stated landscape-level approach to conservation and guided energy development. It also marks tremendous progress for wildlife and one of our truly wild and beautiful places.”

“NPCA supports renewable energy development when located responsibly, to avoid harm to pristine desert lands, wildlife, and stunning national parks. Our organization has worked in partnership with communities, decision-makers, and the administration to improve renewable energy policy in the desert southwest. We encourage the BLM to consider the same criteria used to deny the solar application in their future treatment of the inappropriate and adjacently located wind power proposal.“

"The Silurian Valley is encircled by and connects together remarkable conservation lands critical for wildlife and cultural resources. The valley is at the doorstep to Death Valley National Park, retains a pristine segment of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, and connects to Mojave National Preserve. The Silurian Valley is a well-traveled area; both by national park visitors as well as iconic desert species, including desert kit foxes, burrowing owls, bighorn sheep and Golden Eagles. It is also a place of immense beauty with historic and cultural values and is one step closer to being fully protected for ours and future generations, with today’s decision.”

“NPCA also hopes that today’s action is the sign of progress to come by the Interior Department as it proceeds with the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) and decisions related to renewable energy proposals that impact our national parks, wildlife and beloved wild places.”

Background:
Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rejected an application for a solar energy proposal in Silurian Valley, located in California’s San Bernardino County. The solar proposal was on 7,218 acres of public lands, crossing over the Old Spanish National Historic Trail in the serenely beautiful area between the trail, Death Valley National Park, and Mojave National Preserve.

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About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.