ACTION ALERT: Manzanar Now Facing Even Larger Threat From Renewable Energy Development

Inyo County is considering opening the marked area on this map, much of which is visible fron the Manzanar National Historic Site, to large-scale renewable energy development, separate from the Los Angeles Department
of Water and Power’s proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch.
(click above to view larger map)

As you may know, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has proposed to build the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, a 1,200-acre (1.8 square mile) solar energy generating station just 3.5 miles east of the Manzanar National Historic Site, still very much within the site’s viewshed.

But that could be just the tip of the iceberg for Manzanar, as Inyo County is now considering opening up additional lands in the Owens Valley, including a large swath of land that would also intrude upon Manzanar’s viewshed, to the same kind of large-scale renewable energy development that LADWP is proposing.

In fact, another proposed 1,200-acre solar energy generating station would be built just north of LADWP’s facility, also within Manzanar’s viewshed, and that would occupy just a small fraction of the land that Inyo County would open up to such development in the vicinity of Manzanar.

Even worse, if Inyo County moves to allow large-scale renewable energy development in the Owens Valley, with so much land available, there could be several more solar or wind power facilities built near Manzanar, totally destroying its viewshed.

In other words, Manzanar is now under “attack” on two fronts: by LADWP and their Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, and by the County of Inyo, whose 2013 Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) would allow the additional development described above.

As you are probably aware, like the nine other American concentration camps where a total of over 110,000 Japanese Americans were unjustly incarcerated during World War II, Manzanar was chosen for one of these camps because of its isolation and desolation. The fact that there was nothing around these camps for miles and miles was a determining factor in the choice of location.

That being the case, how can the Manzanar National Historic Site teach current and future generations about the isolation and desolation aspect of this history if there is large-scale development in the vicinity? No longer would visitors be able to see what the 11,070 people who were unjustly incarcerated there saw. No longer would they be able to get an idea of how that desolation impacted them—the ability to teach the desolation aspect of this history would be severely impaired, if not virtually destroyed.

Click on the image above to download a printable version of this Action Alert (Adobe Reader software required).

On March 18, 2014, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors will consider the 2013 REGPA for final approval/adoption. Although there is widespread, vocal opposition in the Owens Valley to this proposal for many reasons beyond concerns about Manzanar, organizations like the Big Pine Paiute Tribe, the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, the Owens Valley Committee, and others, are supporting our call for rejection of this proposal. However, several members of the Board of Supervisors appear to support the measure, believing that such development would be an economic windfall to the County, even though it has been proven many times over that large-scale renewable energy facilities only create a handful of jobs each. For example, LADWP’s proposed facility would only create up to ten permanent jobs.

How You Can Help

Please write letters and e-mails to the members of the Inyo County Board of Supervisors (contact information below) prior to their meeting on March 18. Be sure to note that the 2013 REGPA would allow even greater harm to Manzanar’s integrity and ability to educate on top of what LADWP is proposing—large-scale, industrial renewable energy development would cause irreparable damage to Manzanar’s viewshed.

Moreover, littering the floor of the Owens Valley with huge solar energy facilities and wind farms would destroy the pristine open spaces of the Owens Valley. Tourists flock to the Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierra because of this beauty. Why give them a reason not to visit? Building large-scale renewable energy facilities on the valley floor would be economic suicide for Inyo County, whose economy is based on tourism.

Also, please sign TWO online petitions regarding these issues:

1) Opposing the LADWP’s Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch on change.org.

2) Oppose Inyo County’s 2013 REGPA on DeepestValley.com.

For more information, on the 2013 REGPA, check out the Manzanar Committee’s comments on the proposal at: Manzanar Committee Calls On Inyo County To Shut Door On Large-Scale Renewable Energy Facilities In Owens Valley

For more information on LADWP’s proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch (several articles), check out: http://blog.manzanarcommittee.org/tag/southern-owens-valley-solar-ranch.

For an Inyo County perspective, check out: http://www.deepestvalley.com.

Questions? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at sovsr@manzanarcommittee.org.

Inyo County Board of Supervisors

District 1 Supervisor

Linda Arcularius
225 N. Round Valley Road
Bishop, CA 93514-9634
(760) 387-2692
(760) 937-2486 (Cell)
larcularius@inyocounty.us

District 2 Supervisor

Jeff Griffiths
387 Willow Street
Bishop, CA 93514-2838
(760) 937-0072 (District Office and Cell)
jgriffiths@inyocounty.us

District 3 Supervisor

Rick Pucci
P. O. Box 128
Bishop, CA 93514-0128
(760) 878-0373 (Independence Office)
(760) 872-0917 (District Office)
supervisor.pucci@gmail.com

District 4 Supervisor

Mark Tillemans
P.O. Box 612
Big Pine, CA 93513-0612
(760) 938-2024 (District Office)
mtillemans@inyocounty.us

District 5 Supervisor

Matt Kingsley
P. O. Box 110
Lone Pine, CA 93545-0110
(760) 878-8508 (District Office and Cell)
mkingsley@inyocounty.us

2 Responses to ACTION ALERT: Manzanar Now Facing Even Larger Threat From Renewable Energy Development

  1. Pingback: Author And University of Hawai’i Prof. Eileen Tamura To Keynote 45th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage | Manzanar Committee

  2. Pingback: Inyo County Shouldn’t Sell Out To Large-Scale Renewable Energy Development | Manzanar Committee

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