Video: Birdseye view of how solar energy could affect the California Desert

The cramped quarters of a 6 passenger Cessna airplane may not be ideal working conditions for some reporters, but those writing about energy development and our public lands, including places like the California desert, are able to get a bird’s eye view to help them tell a story you can’t see or write from the ground.

Recently in Palm Springs, The Wilderness Society and our partners at EcoFlight and the National Park Conservation Association organized flights for reporters over areas being considered as part of the Interior Department’s national program for solar. It was a great opportunity to help reporters understand our recommendations for improving the Interior Department’s latest plan for developing solar on public lands.

The flight provided local reporters a look from above at the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone, which was part of the Interior Department’s latest plan announced in October, as well as the Iron Mountain zone, which was no longer included in the recent Supplemental plan.  The images and video captured by the skilled photographers and video journalists who joined the flights are vivid and self descriptive. A team of reporters at the Palm Springs Desert Sun produced a multi-media news package with video from their trip with us. Two thumbs up for their ability to tell this story in a dynamic way.

Their footage captures the view from about a mile above where utility scale solar is being planned, and where some is already under development. Through their lens in the video below, you can also see the undisturbed lands that should be protected from energy development. The video speaks for itself. This is a must see piece.