Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the author of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act, says she will introduce new legislation to establish a national monument to preserve hundreds of thousands of acres in the Mojave Desert. The former Catellus lands were previously donated to or by purchased by the Department of the Interior (DOI) for conservation.
‘The former Catellus lands between the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park were purchased by or donated to the federal government so they would be protected forever,’ explains Feinstein. ‘I feel very strongly that the federal government must honor that commitment.
‘That's why I am very concerned about wind and solar development proposals intended for these lands,’ she continues. ‘I'm a strong supporter of renewable energy and clean technology, but it is critical that these projects are built on suitable lands. The former Catellus lands shouldn't be eligible for development.’
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is currently reviewing 130 applications for solar and wind energy development in the California desert, covering more than 1 million acres of public land. Several of these applications are located in the eastern Mojave Desert on or near property previously owned by Catellus. The California Energy Commission has estimated that approximately 100,000 to 160,000 acres of desert lands would be needed for the state to meet its 33% renewable energy goal by 2020.
SOURCE: Office Of Sen. Dianne Feinstein