Manzanar Guayule Rubber Project Has Enduring Impact – Photos

Dr. Glenn H. Kageyama speaking at the program on the Manzanar Guayule Rubber Project, August 30, 2015, Gardena, California. Kageyama is holding samples of rubber made from the Guayule plant.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

GARDENA, CA — During World War II, while incarcerated behind barbed wire at Manzanar, a handful of Japanese Americans— Dr. Morganlander Shimpe Nishimura, a nuclear physicist from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Kenji Nozaki, a chemist at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Masuo Kodani, cytologist from UC Berkeley, Frank Hirasawa, organic chemist, Homer Kimura, a mechanical engineer, along with Frank Kageyama and Tomoichi Hata, worked to develop high-quality rubber from the Guayule plant in support of the United States’ war effort.

As Manzanar Committee member Joyce Okazaki wrote in this space in March 2009, “On five acres of land with 40 incarcerees, and at a cost of about $100.00, the Manzanar Guayule Project produced a higher yield of plant and a higher quality of rubber than the [larger Emergency Rubber Project in Salinas, California] or tree rubber. The tensile strength of the rubber was 5,150 pounds per square inch (PSI), compared to 3,700 PSI for Salinas, and 4,400 PSI for tree rubber.”

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Unified, Grass-Roots Effort Credited With Gaining Indefinite Hold On Industrial-Scale Solar Projects Threatening Manzanar, Owens Valley

To download a copy of this statement,
click on the image above.
(Adobe Reader software required to view/print).

LOS ANGELES — In a joint statement on August 3, the Manzanar Committee and the Owens Valley Committee (OVC) announced that two industrial-scale solar energy projects that would have had adverse impacts on California’s Owens Valley and the Manzanar National Historic Site have been delayed indefinitely.

On March 12, 2015, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) withdrew their proposed 1,200-acre Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch (SOVSR) from the Interconnection Queue for their Inyo-Rinaldi transmission line, which transports electricity through the Owens Valley, south to Los Angeles.

As reported by Deb Murphy of Sierra Wave Online, a news outlet covering Inyo and Mono Counties, LADWP confirmed that the SOVSR project has been removed from the interconnection queue.

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Personal Approach Helped Stall DWP Solar Project

At an April 1, 2014 press conference, held on the steps of the Inyo County Courthouse in Independence, California, stakeholders called on the Inyo County Board of Supervisors to protect the Owens Valley from large-scale,
industrial renewable energy development. From left: Alan Bacock, Big Pine Paiute Tribe, Mary Roper,
Owens Valley Committee, Bruce Embrey, Manzanar Committee, Meredith Hackleman, Metabolic Studio.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Judyth Greenburgh

The following was originally published in the June 2, 2015 edition of the Inyo Register. It is reprinted here with permission.


by Jon Klusmire
Special to the Inyo Register

INDEPENDENCE, CA — A personal approach that tapped into a shared history of past battles and victories was credited with delaying for a decade the industrial scale solar power project that kicked off an 18-month public debate in Inyo County about the future of the solar power industry in the county.

An alliance of Inyo County residents and organizations, and the Los Angeles based Manzanar Committee, came together to battle the solar project in 2014, in a move that resembled a similar effort 25 years ago to out-maneuver the Los Angeles Department of Power (LADWP) during the long struggle to establish the Manzanar National Historic Site.

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Community Members Launch DeepestValley.com Web Site to Protect Land, Communities of Inyo County

The following is a press release from DeepestValley.com, which, like the Manzanar Committee, is fighting against the construction of large-scale renewable energy development in the Owens Valley, including any such development that would intrude upon the viewshed of the Manzanar National Historic Site.


Photo courtesy DeepestValley.com

INDEPENDENCE, CA — Concerned community members in California’s Inyo County launched a new web site last week dedicated to the conservation of our open spaces.

Deepestvalley.com was initiated shortly after the now infamous Inyo County Planning Commission Meeting on Feburary 26, 2014, during which the Commission voted 4-1 to zone for industrial use enormous swaths of untouched land previously designated as agricultural and conservation land. This action, taken in spite of overwhelming public opposition both before and during the meeting, moved the rezoning proposal to the Board of Supervisors for discussion on March 18.

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