Joshua Tree's 794,000 acres preserve portions of two spectacular desert ecosystems. The Colorado Desert in the eastern portion of the park features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo, and cholla cactus. The higher, slightly cooler Mojave Desert features dazzling vistas of Joshua trees and yucca. The park also features some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California's deserts and is a mecca for rock climbers around the world.
Eagle Mountain has been at the center of controversy over inappropriate, harmful development proposals for years. One of these concerns the site of an inactive iron ore mine that was carved out of Joshua Tree in the 1950s. The site was supposed to be given back to the National Park Service when mining operations were complete. Instead, the former mining company has held the land and tried to develop it. The proposal is for an energy storage development and hydropower plant that would pump water from the desert aquifer in and around Joshua Tree National Park.
This project poses myriad threats to Joshua Tree’s precious ecosystem and to wildlife; water sources will be depleted, there is a possibility of the introduction of invasive species, and underground water potentially will be contaminated with toxic pollution leftover from decades of mining. Opponents are also concerned that the plant and associated transmission lines would harm iconic wildlife like bighorn sheep, golden eagle, and desert tortoise and jeopardize the integrity of Joshua Tree National Park.
Conservationists, business owners, and local stakeholders successfully fought against the Eagle Mountain Landfill for more than two decades, which would have surrounded Joshua Tree National Park on three sides. In 2013, the landfill proposal was defeated, but a proposal for the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project has remained.
Please sign this petition letting the BLM know that while solar energy storage is a positive move, we do not want to compromise the integrity of Joshua National Park in doing so. There are some places where industry and resource development just cannot and should not be done. This is one of those.
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