The Bureau of Land Management in California has taken a great step forward with its decision to protect a special part of the desert by denying an application for a large-scale solar project in the remote Silurian Valley.
“Silurian Valley is the ‘connective tissue’ of this portion of the northern Mojave Desert,” says Sally Miller, a senior California conservation representative of The Wilderness Society. “It encompasses lower elevation lands that provide important connectivity habitat between nearby mountain ranges, and that link Death Valley National Park with the Mojave National Preserve.”
This connective ecological tissue also holds significant historical and cultural values, and provides abundant recreation and scenic opportunities.
Allowing this application to move forward would have compromised the wild character of the Silurian Valley, inviting the potential development of more roads and transmissions lines. It would have also set a precedent that attracts more applications for the development of our cherished wild spaces.
“This isn’t about solar or wind energy, it is about the value of this place,” Miller says. “Silurian Valley is simply not suitable for this type of large-scale development. By denying the variance application, the BLM has paved the way for the level of protection this desert treasure has long deserved.”