Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Interesting News (both great and a bit scary)

 I will admit to being almost ambivalent about this. 

Just knowing California and the range of Joshua trees, this is mainly great news. Joshua trees have unique ecosystem requirements including elevation (high desert only - 1,600 - 6,000  feet) and water access (desert dry, but not too dry). They are densely distributed across the Mojave with other "stands" in southern Nevada and parts of Arizona.

So saving them is great.


But California environmentalists can be a bit too effective. What I think would not be good is to block off too much of the Mojave desert to solar power. While there are beautiful stands of Joshua trees, there are also massive tracks of useless, and un-Joshua'ed treed, land. But that land is in the range of Joshua trees - albeit none are there.

For every gorgeous acre of Joshua trees, there are more acres of completely empty and useless desert sand. Nothing grows and very very little wildlife can thrive. The most obvious way to see this is to drive the back way from Palm Springs to Las Vegas. I have done this drive with Ed, Lynn, Jane and my mom.

Here is the deal. From just north of Joshua Tree National Park all the way to the Mojave National Preserve, the desert is empty. EMPTY. There are remnants of old homesteading sites, but nothing grows. Much of this area is perfect for solar. In that it is not perfect for anything else.

Anyway, my 2 cents.

Empty from the dogleg above Joshua Nat. Park to The 10 below Mojave National Preserve...

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