Tortoise advocates and solar farms compete for desert land


Wildlife conservationists and renewable energy proponents may share large-scale environmental goals, but they are butting heads over the fate of the California desert, The Washington Post reports. In collaboration with conservationists and renewable energy industries, The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has developed a plan to partition 10 million acres of public land into designated areas for conservation, recreation and renewable energy. Of that, 388,000 acres are slated for renewable energy development, which wind and solar energy industries argue is insufficient. Most of the land would be set aside for recreation and conservation, with an emphasis on the endangered desert tortoise (Gopherus spp.). The plan protects key desert tortoise habitat, as well as pathways the reptiles might need in order to disperse to new areas under climate change conditions.