Biologists scour Mojave in desert tortoise roundup.

What has this society come to?
Construction of the Ivanpah Solar plant starts.

Clear the land of life for power generation that could be achieved by installing solar panels on rooftops where it is used. The bulldozers, fences, and powerlines are next.

The science shows that half of these endangered desert tortoises will die and an equal number of the tortoises that will be displaced but the moved tortoises will die as well. It’s all a charade under the guise of GREEN ENERGY that is being greenwashed by many of the big “conservation” groups.

Other alternatives were never examined because that would get in the way of the profits of those big power companies who will profit at the expense of the taxpayers and more importantly habitat and wildlife. There is a playa just across the freeway where Bob Abbey, the director of the BLM, likes to landsail. It was never considered as an alternative site.

The effort in San Bernardino County’s panoramic Ivanpah Valley, just north of Interstate 15 and about 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas, disrupted complex tortoise social networks and blood lines linked for centuries by dusty trails, shelters and hibernation burrows.

Biologists scour Mojave in desert tortoise roundup
Los Angeles Times

16 Responses to “Biologists scour Mojave in desert tortoise roundup.”

  1. WolfMtnLady Says:

    I would say they are at least moving them, not just mowing them over with construction. Turtles are in Zoos, pet stores, backyard pets, moving these turtles will not really endanger the species We as a country need to use alternative energy other than oil, no matter what type of energy is developed someone will say it is bad for the animals and environment. There is always a down fall to anything man does to wild life. As far as the area, it is desert, plain and ugly, will not ruin any landscapes, that drive is the longest and ugliest drive and seeing some productive solar use will be great! Palm Springs has had turbines for years, I love seeing them when I drive to the valley, and they help with energy and does not hurt the environment where they were placed. I say this is a good article that shows that man can work with the animals instead of killing them.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      WolfMtnLady,

      A couple points.

      1. First scenery is subjective. We visited Ivanpah Valley in April after spending 4 days in the adjacent Mojave National Preserve. I thought the valley was interesting and kind of pretty, but you have to get off of the Interstate. You probably like forest much better. That is fine, but don’t generalize.

      2. It might seem a minor point, but these are tortoises, not turtles. Many biologists do not think they will survive being moved into unfamiliar territory.

      3. Solar power can be a great way of breaking our dependence on oil, gas and coal, but the evil effects of these fuels are not just the physical pollution they produce. These industries have always been very hostile to democracy — war, corruption, harm to workers, have gone hand in hand with coal, oil, and gas. But is isn’t just the character of the fuel, it is their centralized production and distribution.

      Centralized power production, far from the use point, is inherently unstable, subject to catastrophic failure and sabotage. On the other hand “distributed” power production and distribution, such a solar on rooftops, is stable and compatible with a free and democratic society.

      • Bryanto Says:

        Desert Tortoises are an endangered species,and are NOT sold in pet store. Solar Power is the answer,but put a panel on every roof, and then the people can generate their own power,no need for a big nasty corporation rationing out to everyone else to turn a profit, but that’s exactly what they’re afraid of. If you don’t think the Desert is pretty,that’s fine,but many of us do, and it doesn’t give you the right to destroy the place so you can have power. I am sick of people dumping their waste and otherwise exploiting our landscapes,if you want it,you live with the consequences.

  2. Salle Says:

    As far as the area, it is desert, plain and ugly, will not ruin any landscapes…

    Goes to show how much you don’t know about the desert and the values of ecosystems, even if they aren’t some glamorously developed Palm Springs-like city or they don’t relate directly to your shallow little world.

    If you were to have your right leg removed so that more people could sit on the same church pew, would you just accept it and carry on exactly as you did before your leg was removed? Not likely. It is quite similar with the landscape that you disdain. It has a purpose in nature whether you happen to notice/like it or not. For those of us who value the natural world, the deserts are full of life and any component is not there at the behest of humans, but is there because it is part of a global system of living organisms that include humans but are not there solely for humans to exploit at will. When we humans interfere with the natural processes of life on this planet, we lose far more than we can detect. It’s the human distraction from the reality of all living things on the earth that is so dangerous to all living things on the earth… including humans. We have mistakenly allowed ourselves to be convinced that we are somehow separate and superior to this reality and that entertainment is what matters most in this life… quite mistakenly.

    Next time you use your hair dryer or HDTV, I hope you take a moment to think about all the wildlife you have killed to dry your hair or be entertained so your can drive across the vast wasteland with disdain… a wasteland that helps make your life possible – at the expense of others’.

  3. JerryBlack Says:

    ” As far as the area, it is desert, plain and ugly, will not ruin any landscapes, that drive is the longest and ugliest drive and seeing some productive solar use will be great!”
    WOW!!! No wonder this planet is in trouble.
    I live in Montana, but have been spending time in the Chihuahuan
    Desert of late…..such incredible biodiversity, but you have to leave the road to see most of it.

    Thanks Sallee….well said.

    • Salle Says:

      But it isn’t the planet that’s in trouble, it’s our species and many others. The planet will survive after it get a good case of “vermin dip”, like sheep dip, that rids it of the scourge of humanity ~ and by this I mean that humanity is the scourge ~ it is our species that won’t survive the “new and improved” world we have created within the biosphere.

      Once again I’ll add my favorite slogan: It’s the bioshpere, folks, if it isn’t healthy you/we can’t survive. Technology isn’t going to help us much on this issue.

  4. Nancy Says:

    I agree Salle! Instead of destroying this incredible habitat for “green” energy on a massive scale, why not work towards lowering the cost of solar and wind power so individuals can afford to equip their own homes?

    • Salle Says:

      I suspect that “green energy” on a large scale isn’t the answer but a rouse to keep folks thinking that the whole problem is out of their hands. These habitat destroying “energy farms” are a farce, they look like something but they really don’t do much to solve any of the problem. It will take a major shift in lifestyles, for Americans in particular, to get off their fat asses and pay attention to the impact they have on the biosphere, that’s the large-scale picture that needs to be observed here. Until that happens, you can kiss a species good-bye about once or twice a week.

  5. WolfMtnLady Says:

    Salle Says:
    October 10, 2010 at 8:04 AM

    “As far as the area, it is desert, plain and ugly, will not ruin any landscapes…”

    Goes to show how much you don’t know about the desert and the values of ecosystems, even if they aren’t some glamorously developed Palm Springs-like city or they don’t relate directly to your shallow little world.

    Salle, I live in Arizona, I know all about the desert. It is still ugly to me!

    • Salle Says:

      Thus my comment… keep reading. It wasn’t meant to open closed minds, it was meant to highlight your lack of understanding beyond your little world.

      • Salle Says:

        And furthermore, you can’t possibly know all about the desert and believe what you believe, understanding is knowledge, anything else is conjecture not necessarily based on fact or reality.

  6. mikepost Says:

    I have just seen a large solar install in this area near the junction of highway’s 58 and 395 in the Mojave (Calif) and it is a massive display and it is certainly doubtful that anything other than a gopher can subsist there…and then there is the water use to keep the panels clean…

  7. Brian Ertz Says:

    There are many other values that deserts provide as well ~ things we’d probably never think to think about🙂 ~ ironically (in this case of ivanpah), carbon sequestration ~

    so while the big so-called “green” power companies wipe out desert habitat and soils at the landscape-level – all in the name of “reducing carbon-dioxide” (which these power sources DON’T do – (they just fuel more ‘guilt-free’ consumption !!) – in the name of “renewable energy” — they’re also wiping out ecosystem services that sequester (which actually DOES reduce carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere) as much carbon as temperate forests ~~~

    From an earlier post :
    Public lands as carbon sinks

    Intact desert ecosystems act as carbon sinks – sequestering global warming carbon dioxide.

    More so than originally thought, desert ecosystems can take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and fix it in the vegetation and microbiotic soil crusts (Wohlfahrt 2008). In fact, deserts and semiarid landscapes can absorb more carbon dioxide than forests and grasslands. Wohlfahrt’s recent study suggesting living soil’s healing respiration in the Mojave Desert largely corroborates the carbon sequestration potential demonstrated in other studies completed with desert shrub in Baja California and in a semiarid riparian shrubland in Arizona.

    The more scientists study these dynamic relationships, the more we find that if we let it, native ecosystems on public lands have much to offer in in the way of ecological services that mitigate and sequester carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change.

    […]

    Of all the of reasons native ecosystems help to sequester global warming gases, I have yet to come across any indication that extractive industry and disturbing use does anything but negate that potential. And if you think about it, it makes sense. In the Mojave, it’s the smallest, most fragile members of the living community – microbiotic soil crusts – the ones most easily disturbed that draws warming gas into the soil. The vibrancy, health and diversity of ecosystems that give us clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife are the very conditions that function efficiently and productively toward fixing carbon and other global warming gases. Unfortunately, many of our land use decisions up to this point degrade that vibrancy and simplify those systems – making them less efficient carbon sinks.

  8. Brian Ertz Says:

    There is a playa just across the freeway where Bob Abbey, the director of the BLM, likes to landsail. It was never considered as an alternative site.

    The Playa isn’t Lifeless

  9. Kristin, Northern CA Says:

    Online petition:
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/Save-the-Desert-Tortoise/

    Do online petitions do anything?


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