Ecosystem conservation vs. renewable-energy development: Let’s hike on it
Sometimes the push for clean energy runs up against the push to preserve unspoiled wild areas (see: Cape Wind). Big wind farms and solar-power systems are being sited in remote and undeveloped spots, and long transmission lines are being planned to carry their output to population centers, where the power is needed. If you care about both renewable energy and land conservation, where do you come down? It can be a challenging line to walk.
In Adam Bradley’s case, that’s an understatement. He’s walking 501 miles to raise awareness of the delicate balance we need to strike between clean energy development and protection of wild spaces. An accomplished thru-hiker, Bradley is following the planned route of the Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP) transmission line, from Idaho south through eastern Nevada to just north of Las Vegas. Construction of the line is scheduled to start this summer. On his “SWIP trip,” sponsored by the Nevada Wilderness Project, Bradley is documenting ecosystems as they now exist and highlighting opportunities for conservation during the line’s construction.
Follow his adventures on the Nevada Wilderness Project’s blog.