The Mojave National Preserve Conservancy applauds a decision by San Bernardino County Supervisors denying the environmental certification of the proposed Soda Mountain Solar project. The solar project - proposed by Regenerate Power LLC - would destroy over 3 square miles of intact desert habitat immediately adjacent to the Preserve.
Supervisors expressed concern that the environmental analysis conducted for the project ignored input from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding impacts on bighorn sheep. The project would have also pumped millions of gallons of groundwater, threatening the viability of local groundwater-fed natural springs. Wildlife that depend upon the springs include bighorn sheep, rare Mohave tui chub, American badgers and many birds species.
The project developer is considering its options, but County supervisors rightly pointed out that the solar panel technology the company proposed placing next to the Preserve could just as easily be installed on already-disturbed lands close to our cities, on rooftops, or over parking lots.