Solar Project Planned for Mojave Desert Will Destroy Thousands of Joshua Trees and Endangered Tortoise Habitat

Joshua Trees in Lost Horse Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Courtesy US NPS, Bill Bjornstad, Photographer

Joshua Trees in Lost Horse Valley
Joshua Tree National Park
Courtesy US NPS
Bill Bjornstad, Photographer

https://www.ecowatch.com/solar-project-mojave-desert-joshua-trees-tortoises.html

(and this is the rarer of the two species of Joshua Tree; Yucca brevifolia does not for example occur in Utah as currently understood)

When this species was denied for ESA listing based on the latest petition, the conclusion by the FWS was:

“The best available information indicates that substantial habitat loss due to development, military training, or renewable energy development is unlikely in the foreseeable future. ”

See:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/03/09/2023-04680/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-and-plants-petition-finding-for-joshua-trees-yucca-brevifolia-and

This solar panel project represents a substantial loss of habitat and the destruction of a long-lived, slow growing species.

Tony Frates
(Information courtesy Utah Native Plant Society Hotline & Hilary Shughart, Bridgerland Audubon Society)

Additional References:
Joshua Trees Pages & Images, Joshua Tree National Park, US National Park Service,

  1. https://www.nps.gov/places/joshua-trees.htm
  2. https://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/nature/jtrees.htm
  3. Yucca brevifolia Engelm. https://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/nature/yucca_brevifolia.htm

Joshua Tree National Landmark, US BLM, https://www.blm.gov/visit/joshua-tree-national-landmark

Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), iNaturalist, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/47785-Yucca-brevifolia

Utah Native Plant Society, https://www.unps.org/

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