Utah governor to sign Snake Valley water pact with Nevada

Does he care that it will turn the Nevada/Utah border into a dustbowl?

Guv ready to make Snake Valley water deal with Nevada. By Brandon Loomis. The Salt Lake Tribune

Don’t sign, governor. Snake Valley water pact needs work. Salt Lake Tribune Editorial.

We hoped the recent court loss by the Southern Nevada Water Authority would stop Utah’s new governor from buying into this corrupt bargain. Utah’s governor no doubt wants his own destructive water pipeline from Lake Powell across southern Utah to feed urban sprawl at St. George, UT.

Photos of how the Southern Nevada Water Authority deals with desert plants on the land is has grabbed. Does soil look like it isn”t going to just blow away?



  1. Salle Avatar

    “Does he care that it will turn the Nevada/Utah border into a dustbowl?”

    As long as special extractive interests are lining his pockets and feathering his bed… probably not.

  2. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Wait until they figure out that you could pump water up the Salt River in Wyoming from Palsades Reservoir in Idaho and let it flow down the Green River and into the Colorado River, where it can be used in Las Vegas after it gets to Lake Meade. Big Money talks and if the water right holders in Idaho are offered enough, listen for the sucking sound as the water leaves the state.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    You are pretty much right, Larry. As the Colorado River dries up, Las Vegas is looking to all its neighbor states to grab their groundwater.

  4. kt Avatar


    Oh no doubt at all. Utah just had to pretend to be concerned.

    Never forget that it was Harry Reid’s Lincoln County Wilderness Bill that laid the ground work for the Southern Nevada Water Authority pipelines. Did anyone ever doubt the local ranchers would get rolled by the BIG interests/developers? Most of them sold out pretty quickly.

    NOW get this latest wrinkle: The Mormon Church owns a Ranch at ground zero of the Las Vegas water wars in Spring Valley near Cleve Creek and Great Basin National Park. The Church has not sold the ranch and water to SNWA. However, the Mormon Church at this ranch is NOW selling water to an industrial wind developer who is proposing a hugely destructive industrial wind farm on BLM lands right by ground zero of the SNWA aquifer mining scheme. The new wind farm will touch the Swamp Cedar ACEC, a place that has figured prominently in the SNWA Water Wars. Ralph, had you posted a Swamp Cedar photo last year or so?

    The industrial wind project is called Spring Valley Wind. It had been owned by an entity called Babcock and Brown. It was sold a year or so ago to something called Riverstone. You trace who Riverstone is, and it is part of the Carlyle Group!

    Pattern Energy is the name of the Carlyle Group holder of the Spring Valley Wind entity.

    NOW back to SNWA. You see, SNWA wants to be all nice and carbon-neutral, and use GREEN ENERGY to pump its water and destroy the Great Basin. Only this isn’t green energy – it is a death sentence for several MILLION Brazilian free-tailed bats that use Spring Valley and roost in a cave (Rose Guano Bat Cave) a mile or so from the wind farm site!

    Spring Valley Wind, is one of Ken Salazar’s fast-track “Reckless Renewables” proposed to rip up the southern Great Basin and Mojave. Ely BLM has just released a joke of an EA. Not even an EIS. This is shameful.

    The reason for the shoddy EA – it is on a BLM/DOI fast-track so it can get YOUR tax dollars – part of the Stimulus Bill!

    Here is the EA:


    Carlyle Group wants your Stimulus tax dollars. This is the kind of scamming that goes on in Harry Reid’s crooked, crooked Nevada where Ely BLM is a pawn of industry. And cowboy Ken Salazar is doling out favors to energy interests right and left.

    Hi, meet New Green Energy. Same as the old Destructive Energy. Both Pat Mulroy and the Carlyle Group setting out to destroy the wild lands of the Great Basin with water mining and renewables. Originally this was to be a larger wind farm and SNWA was overtly involved in that. Now, they appear to have pared it back just a tad – and SNWA is not overtly involved — yet. Just wait. There are wind MET towers all up the valley.

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    So it turns out the new “green” power is as corrupt as the old fossil fuel power. It is the same old economic/political model.

    As we have said many times before, centralized massive power generation is not compatible with the environment nor democracy.

  6. kt Avatar

    I’m trying to limit the links so this Post is not rejected.

    Riverstone Holdings LLC (“Riverstone”) and the management team of Babcock & Brown’s North American Energy Group today jointly announced the purchase of the wind development portfolio from Babcock & Brown LP to form Pattern Energy Group LP (“Pattern Energy”). Pattern Energy will be one of the most experienced and best-capitalized development companies in the U.S. renewable energy and transmission industry.

    Pattern owns Spring Valley Wind. The wind farm to be built under a “fast-track” of reckless renewable projects on the list put out by cowboy Ken Salazar’s Stimulus Spending Czar.

    U. S. taxpayers Stimulus Bill funds are going to be funding a big chunk of the Carlyle Group’s wind gambit.


    Other on-line sources show Riverstone being part of Carlyle.

    Here’s what I think is happening: Salazar’s public lands Stimulus Renewables Rush is to funnel more $$$ into the Ponzi scheming. And be a another form of back-door bailout of the Big Bad Actors.

    Meanwhile, the infrastructure gets put in place for even BIGGER water and land grabs (like Larry brings up).

  7. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E


    I have family that owns some land in Arizona close to Beaver Dam, which is in the far northwest corner of that state between St George, Utah and Mesquite, Nevada. The Virgin river flows from Utah into Arizona, and is the source of water for the residents.
    A few years ago Nevada came up with a plan to pump the water that Mesquite uses to Las Vegas, and in turn Mesquite would take water from the Virgin River, and whatever they did not use could be sold back to Arizona residents around Beaver Dam.
    Arizona told Nevada to pound sand.
    Hopefully Utah will come to their senses and do the same.

  8. Nathan Hobbs Avatar
    Nathan Hobbs

    Has the Idaho Government offered any input or thoughts on this matter? it is our aquifer system located mostly within Idaho after all, and much of our agriculture depends upon it. Perhaps Otter should use some of that Legal fund to go after something that really can affect us rather than throw millions at peppergrass.

    When the time comes…I will stand in front of a bull dozer over this one. I hope we never reach that point with this plan however.

  9. kt Avatar

    Nathan: It is coming Idaho-ward, and coming fast. The Corridors and some of the infrastructure are being put in place with Industrial Renewable Energy. Like SWIP (Southwest Intertie Project). Like the China Mountain Wind Farm that just happens to have an elevated water storage “battery” now associated with it.

  10. jdubya Avatar

    Kt, you said: The Mormon Church owns a Ranch at ground zero of the Las Vegas water wars in Spring Valley near Cleve Creek and Great Basin National Park. The Church has not sold the ranch and water to SNWA. However, the Mormon Church at this ranch is NOW selling water to an industrial wind developer who is proposing a hugely destructive industrial wind farm on BLM lands right by ground zero of the SNWA aquifer mining scheme.

    While I don’t doubt for a second what you say is true, what does a wind farm need with a source of water, especially one of this magnitude?

  11. kt Avatar

    They are selling the water to the wind farm for use in the concrete batch plant, road building/dust abatement, etc.

    The project sprawls over 8,565 acres. It is just the first of many.

    There are to be 27.5 miles of NEW roads built on your public lands. The roads are to be 68 feet wide during construction.

    As the EA so well understates “because no new water rights in Spring Valley are available [this may be the mist accurate statement in the whole EA] … water would be obtained through a temporary lease … A final agreement has been reached with … the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” .

  12. jdubya Avatar

    Thanks kt….one of those hidden costs of progress, eh??

  13. kt Avatar

    Well, it’s not progress to do renewable energy wrong. We are just repeating the mistakes made with public lands and Oil and Gas in Wyoming. Rape and pillage. There is nothing at all “green” about this.

    There are huge Wind Farm Rights-of-way touching this one just to the north. Issued to Boulevard Associates. I think they might have had something to do with Enron scamming … long ago and maybe not so far away.


    What’s New?

    Spring Valley Wind (SVW), LLC on March 2, 2009, submitted a draft Plan of Development (POD) which is currently being reviewed and refined. The BLM on Oct. 4, 2007, received from the company a Right-of-Way (ROW) application for a 150-megawatt (MW) wind generation farm to be constructed just north of Highway 6/50 in Spring Valley, about 30 miles east of Ely, Nevada. Since that time, SVW has been completing the wind and other studies for the area and preparing the POD for the proposal.
    The BLM in September, 2008, issued Wilson Creek Power Partners (WCCP), LLC, anemometer and project area ROW in the areas of Mt. Wilson/Table Mountain, Atlanta Summit and the White Rock Range, about 30 miles northeast of Pioche, in Lincoln County, Nevada. WCCP in August 2008 submitted a conceptual POD for a 990-MW wind generation farm to be located on approximately 31,000 acres of the public lands.  The output and acreage for the POD submitted with a development ROW application will be depend upon the outcome of wind and siting studies.

    Boulevard Associates has a project area ROW for about 67,771 acres with two anemometers north of the Spring Valley Wind project area.

    Nevada Wind has a ROW for anemometers and a 4,250-acre project area for the Antelope Range, and ROW applications for anemometers and a project area in the South Schell Creek range.

    Invenergy, LLC, has two project areas, 4,400 and 4,911 acres respectively, with one anemometer authorized in each area located on the north and side sides of the Boulevard Associates project area ROW in Spring Valley.

  14. kt Avatar

    And who are the Boulevard Associate folks? Florida Power and Light.

    You can read about them here.


    What is going on with the cut-rate Ely Spring Valley Wind EA is that – If Ken Salazar’s Ely BLM rubberstamps it, all the other wind scoundrels will get the same given to them.

    End result: Mulroy’s beaming. Spring Valley is destroyed by wind – so Heck no one cares if the water kind of goes away.

    And then SNWA gets all those carbon credits for using “green” energy. And the ground water pumping begins.

    But wait: What’s that I see – Wind Turbines collapsing as the earth settles?

  15. Si'vet Avatar

    kt, I believe the tribes own a very, very large portion of the water south of Palisades, and with the huge investment and return on the casino’s why would they want to help their competition. And even more important give up some “control”. Someday soon water will be worth more than gold.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan