It would’ve made a much louder statement if the weather had cooperated and been a windless day, after all they were protesting the planned installation of an industry-scale wind turbine farm east of Searchlight. (See earlier blog for details and a photo simulation.)
There were at least 40 protesters — at least half members of local Indian tribes — standing next to U.S. 95 across the street from the Nugget Casino, whose longtime owner Verlie Doing is friends with protest organizer Judy Bundorf.
Drummer and singer Jesse Figueroa of California played what he called intertribal songs. This one, appropriately, is the eagle song. Electric turbine windmills have killed many eagles over the years and there are numerous bald eagles on Lake Mohave.
Longtime local resident Donna Andress, left, and a couple from nearby Nelson, which they called a suburb of Searchlight, brave the wind to protest the proposed wind farm.
Many of those driving by honked, especially truckers, possibly in agreement with the protesters.
Among those wind-whipped souls was Ruth Nolan, an English professor at College of the Desert who lives in Palm Desert. A former wildland firefighter, she was concerned about the visual, ecological and geologic impact on the desert by such industrial-size construction projects.
The author of “No Place for a Puritan: The Literature of California’s Deserts,” Nolan said she is concerned about how federal lands are being used, calling herself “more of an advocate,” who would like to see more respect for native people, desert flora and fauna, trails and archeology.