For some reason a web page the BLM had once posted listing its reasons for the confiscation of Cliven Bundy’s cattle in the Gold Butte area has been taken down, but a cache of the page is still extant.
“Cliven Bundy has no legal authority to graze cattle on federal lands in the Gold Butte area, including Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The U.S. District Court of Nevada has permanently enjoined Cliven Bundy’s trespass grazing, ordered him to remove his trespass cattle from public lands inside and outside the former Bunkerville Allotment (including from the Lake Mead NRA) before December 2013, and stated the U.S. is entitled to seize and impound any cattle that have not been removed by the judicially imposed off-date and that remain in trespass,” the page begins.
But one of the more unusual aspects of the page comes under the heading of “Examples of Restoration Funding and Viability Impacted”:
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle.”
I have no idea what any of that means in English.
The desert tortoise, which was the reason for the Bundy’s dispute with BLM 20 years ago when the agency tried to limit when and where he could graze cattle, is barely mentioned.
But in a lengthy BLM document on regional mitigation for the 6,000-acre Dry Lake Solar Zone, the agency points out that erection of thousands of acres of solar panels would mean the “loss of desert tortoise habitat and the potential loss of individual desert tortoises. The desert tortoise is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.” So other areas need to be set aside as safe habitat for tortoises so they can be destroyed for solar panels at Dry Lake.
So, cattle bad. Solar panels good.
Harry Reid likes solar panels.
The mitigation plan notes:
“Niche modeling, completed by the National Park Service for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, suggests, under future climate change, high-quality desert tortoise habitat will remain in the Gold Butte ACEC while most of the adjacent desert tortoise habitat in the national recreation area will decline and disappear.”
It also says Gold Butte should be closed to mineral development, off-road vehicles and grazing.
Got to save the tortoises. Or is it the solar panel companies who contribute to Reid’s campaigns?