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When Mike Quigley heard about a new energy transmission line the federal government was considering from Arizona to California in 2018, his feelings were mixed. Quigley serves as the Arizona state director of the conservation organization The Wilderness Society, and supports looking to public lands for the multiple roles they can play in addressing climate change. So in 2018, he supported a shift toward renewables to fight climate change. But the proposed transmission route bisected a wildlife refuge that offered important habitat to several desert species, and also threatened a beloved canyon.

This was a problem. To him, the role of public lands in the climate fight goes beyond their renewable energy potential, or reducing the oil, gas and coal emissions that stem from them. Quigley says healthy public lands naturally clean air and water, support natural carbon storage, and help buffer communities against both the physical and emotional impacts of living with climate change. 

And he wasn’t the only one concerned. Officials said the 500kV powerline was needed... Read more

Sponsored by The Wilderness Society

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