Increasingly, giant industrial energy developments proposed under the misleading label of "green", "clean" and "renewable alternative energy" are threatening our public lands and wildlife.
WWP has built a bold reputation fighting to protect western watersheds and wildlife. Poorly sited energy projects are not welcome on our shared public lands.
The company proposing the huge China Mountain Wind Project is RES Americas, a subsidiary of a European corporation. Despite constructive criticism suggesting alternative siting, RES Americas has insisted on Brown's Bench as the location for the China Mountain Wind Project, an energy development that will burden the public lands with up to 400 giant wind towers in order to supply Las Vegas, Nevada the energy it demands to keep its casinos lit 24/7.
To facilitate this development, RES Americas intends to blade up to 70 miles of new and reconstructed roads forever fragmenting habitat on this Earth Saved, Game Overremarkable landscape renowned for being among the last intact, highest quality sage-steppe landscapes in Idaho.
The quality of wildlife habitat at Brown's Bench is critically important for imperilled sagebrush obligate species such as sage grouse and pygmy rabbit, and the open, relatively undisturbed landscape is valued by local recreationists, sportsmen, and wildlife enthusiasts.
On October 1st, 2010 Western Watersheds Project responded to RES Americas' initial Conservation Mitigation Plan for the China Mountain Wind Project.
The impacts of the proposed project will effectively doom the Brown's Bench area for future use by sage steppe dependent species. This level of impact is so harsh that WWP has concluded that the China Mountain Project should not be built. [...]
Should the BLM proceed with some level of approval for the China Mountain Wind Project (something we anticipate if Ken Salazar remains as Secretary of the Interior), I can assure you there will be a protracted legal fight using all legal means available to stop the project. [...]
WWP has made clear for a long time now that renewable energy projects that are proposed for the least disturbed parts of our public lands are not welcome. There are ample locations in the United States where wind resources are plentiful and even better than those on Browns Bench and China Mountain. Those areas include lands already radically altered by agriculture and other forms of human development, and, in [WWP's] opinion, those are the places where large scale wind projects like this should be built.
In support of alternative energy, Western Watersheds Project will encourage RES Americas to relocate its project to already disturbed and degraded private agricultural lands in Nevada and Idaho that provide equally valuable wind resources without destroying critically needed wildlife habitat on public lands.