Basin & Range Watch

Defending the Desert

Save the Joshua Trees!

June 11, 2024 - Basin and Range Watch broke the story of Johsua tree destruction at the Aratina Solar Project in Kern County, California, which is slated to destroy 4,200 Western Joshua trees. Why are we destroying the environment to save the environment? More >>here.

Western Solar Plan Update

April 18, 2024 - Basin & Range Watch along with a few other conservation groups submitted extensive comments on the Bureau of Land Management's Utility-Scale Solar Energy Development draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and Resource Management Plan Amendment which will update the Western Solar Plan. We support conserving all Mojave desert tortoise known occuppied habitat, habitat for desdert kit foxes, all migration corridors for big game, all rare plant areas, and much more in extensive solar exclusion areas. See more here.

Conservation Groups Ask Interior Department to Cancel Solar Project over Desert Tortoise Impacts

March 18, 2024 - Las Vegas, NV - A coalition of organizations and individuals are requesting that the Department of the Interior (Interior) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cancel the proposed large-scale solar energy project located south of Pahrump, Nevada called the Rough Hat Clark County Solar Project because of significant impacts to the imperiled Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii).

See the Rough Hat Solar Project page.

Sign the Petition!

Support the Cactus Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern

Sample letter to send. Conservation organizations nominated a high-value Mojave Desert habitat for protection to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), requesting the establishment of a 58,000-acre Cactus Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) located just north of Cactus Springs, Nevada, in the Indian Springs Valley northwest of Las Vegas. The region has been described by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as the “most critical desert tortoise connectivity corridor in Nevada.”

See more >>here

Our Mission

Basin and Range Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to conserve the deserts of Nevada and California, help local communities, and educate the public about the diversity of life, culture, and history of the ecosystems and wild lands of the desert.

Come visit and experience the great beauty of spring wildflowers, vast open vistas, bird watching trails, and wildlife viewing. We also appreciate and support local economies, legal recreation, and sustainable traditional uses that help desert communities to thrive.

We support renewable energy on rooftops, on parking lot shade structures, in the built environment, and on already disturbed sites (see Solar Done Right). NOT on biodiverse ecosystems or culturally significant landscapes.

We are the original Defenders of the Desert since 2008!

Welcome to our new updated Basin and Range Watch 2 website! 

We are here for you to provide the latest information on Mojave Desert, Colorado Desert, and Great Basin issues, focusing on solar, wind, Lithium, and transmission projects (because we love our desert homeland and nobody else is focusing on these like we do). We are keeping our old website (see https://www.basinandrangewatch.org) as an archive because it is packed full of years of information, but the system has become clunky after 15 years of using the same software and hardware. So we are upgrading to this new platform to be able to more easily bring you the updates on desert issues, our field reports, agency environmental review comments and deadlines, and much more. We will have links to the old website throughout this new website. Thank you for your patience as we transition to this new website!


Push for Solar Energy on Public Lands Threatens Nevada’s Mojave Desert Species

January 14, 2024 - Pahrump, NV - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just released an Environmental Impact Statement for the Rough Hat Clark County Solar Project, a proposed 400-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility on 2,400 acres of public land that would replace nearly 4 square miles of good quality Mojave Desert habitat with solar panels, battery storage banks and new transmission lines. The project is only one of 6 large-scale solar projects and transmission upgrades either built or proposed for Mojave Desert habitat on public lands managed by BLM south of Pahrump, Nevada.  Deadline to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is April 11, 2024.


To build a solar project in such a big area, large grading equipment must clear the path for solar panels. Plants, animal burrows, biological soil crust and desert pavement all must be graded or crushed to clear the way for panels and associated facilities. It also needs to be noted that all of these living organisms sequester C02, and their removal contributes to climate change. More >>here.

Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Threatened by 368 Transmission Corridors

January 10, 2024 - Laughlin, NV - The Bureau of Land Management is considering Resource Management Plan amendments and preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate modifying (revising, deleting, or adding to) seven designated Section 368 energy corridors (also known as West-wide Energy Corridors). The BLM proposes to amend 19 BLM RMPs in seven states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Ani Kwa Ame National Monument could have a 2-mile wide corridor cut through it. See more at our 368 Corridor page.

BLM to Review 7 solar projects on 158 Square Miles in one Small Environmental Impact Statement  

November 10, 2023 - Tonopah NV - In an unprecedented move, the Bureau of Land Management is streamlining the environmental review for seven solar projects located on 118,631 acres (158 square miles) in one programmatic environmental impact statement. Read the story and our field site visit report. 

No: Gemini Solar Project is Not a Good Example of Utility-scale Solar in the Desert

November 12, 2023 - Moapa NV - Gemini Solar Project is touted as a "model" better way to develop solar energy projects on desert ecosystems. We investigated. Based on all the classic tenets of conservation biology, we strongly disagree. Stay tuned for this important field report.

More Golden Eagle Kills at Spring Valley Wind Project

November 11, 2023 - Spring Valley, NV - We opposed Spring valley Wind Project next to Great Basin National park several years ago, in a basin that harbored an abundant wintering eagle population. The wind project was approved on public lands, in a low wind resource area, and our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request discovered three golden eagle kills recently: 2 in 2015 and one in 2019. More >>here.

Greenlink West Transmission Project Would Open Up the Nevada Outback to Energy Development

Coming soon.

Easley Solar Project moving forward

A controversial large solar project in the Riverside East Development Focus Area in California would hurt local rural communities. More soon.

Lithium Boom Across California and Nevada

The number of Lithium claims and exploration projects  in Nevada is overhwelming. We investigate some of them in detail, on the ground. Most of these you have never heard of. More soon.

Oberon Solar Project Approved


This approved utility-scale solar project in Chuckwalla Valley CA destroyed too much microphyll woodland. More soon.

Calendar of Deadlines:

Rough Hat Clark Solar Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement deadline April 11, 2024 >>BLM

Solar applications on east side of Death Valley National Park in pre-NEPA stages--stay tuned!

Section 368 energy corridors (also known as West-wide Energy Corridors) comment deadline February 2, 2024 >>BLM

GridLiance West Core UpgradesTransmission Line Project Scoping deadline September 7, 2023 for public comments >>BLM

 Sign up for our Email Newsletter! >>here

Highlights of 2023

Cactus Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern Nomination

Avi Kwa Ame National Monument is Designated!

More here.

Our old website with archive is here: https://www.basinandrangewatch.org

Giving Thanks to the People who have lived and live in these Deserts for thousands of years. We live today on the unceded homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Chemehuevi, and many many more Tribes and Indigenous Peoples.

  

"In the first place you can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you'll see something, maybe."

--Edward Abbey, 1967, Desert Solitaire

 

"Polite conversationalists leave no mark, save the scar upon the earth that could have been prevented had they stood their ground."

--David Brower

 

"Only within the 20th Century has biological thought been focused on ecology, or the relation of the living creature to its environment. Awareness of ecological relationships is — or should be — the basis of modern conservation programs, for it is useless to attempt to preserve a living species unless the kind of land or water it requires is also preserved."

--Rachel Carson, Essay on the Biological Sciences, in Good Reading (1958)


“What our Seventh Generation will have is a consequence of our actions today.” 


-- Winona LaDuke

 

"True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire."

--Cesar Chavez