Nevada Views: Energy development poses challenge to [Nevada] wildlife habitat

Wind and solar development could be very destructive to Nevada’s wildlife-

Energy development poses challenge to wildlife habitat. By Larry Johnson. Las Vegas Review-Journal.

And unsaid is the continuing bad idea of centralized energy generation, even if it is said to be renewable.



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  1. Doryfun Avatar

    Quoted from Johnson article: “Earlier this year, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said: “We need to find a way of protecting habitat but also develop much-needed energy resources.” He clearly understands that effectively balancing these two goals is vital to the future of our wildlife, our nation’s economy and to Nevada’s leadership and continued growth in developing renewable energy. We applaud Secretary Salazar for his work in this area. With careful planning, the responsible development of large-scale renewable projects can meet our demand for energy and preserve our hunting and fishing traditions.”
    How about 4th generation nuclear power? In weighing out pro and con of such, it appears this technology might have the best hope to both produce more energy, and eliminate the need for big oil, wind/solar farms, and the oxymoronic “clean” coal plants. Or at least reduce the number of wind and solar projects (etc) that have big potential for raising havoc to wildlife conflicts.
    While I have always sided more with famed ecologist Garrett Hardin, who questioned the safety and efficacy of nuclear power, this new 4th generation technology might offer new hope??
    Anyone know of what magnitude of negatives the potential 4th generation nuclear reactors might be? (aside from terrorism potential, which is a reality we will probably always have to live/die with these days).

    1. Nancy Avatar

      Doryfun – I think if Pointswest is around he might be able to weigh in on that one and I think I left a comment awhile back that there were still some safety factors involved.

      I’m also curious as to why wind turbine blades have to be horizontal instead of vertical (like helicopter blades) or for the ones that are in place now, couldn’t some sort of flashing lights (not obnoxiously bright) or high frquency sound device be attached to help birds and bats stay clear?
      But as Ralph said “And unsaid is the continuing bad idea of centralized energy generation, even if it is said to be renewable”

      I’d rather see these technologies more affordable to individuals.

      1. Doryfun Avatar

        Yes, I would agree on everyone being able to aford the ability to be more personally responsible for their own energy, too. It will always take a combination of things. Your ideas of the whirly gigs re-arrangemnet is interesting. But for the bigger mega projects it seems this 4th generation nuclear has some good merit in looking at??

      2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

        Here is an example of a more benign design and one that will work in an urban area, and allows for non-centralized (distributed) electricity generation.

        New Wind Turbine Design Good for Rural, Urban Environment

  2. Doryfun Avatar

    Another problem with wind/solar is that often (specially for wind) these projects occur on big game winter range areas (ie – wind coming off mountains and through passes, natural sinks, etc, which coincide with the same places wildlife are foreced to winter).
    These projects come with increased roads to access for construction of such sites, then maintainance for continued harrassment potential, increased access for more human impacts. So again, reduction of these types of places in favor of potential nuclear instead, seems a plus.

  3. Nancy Avatar

    This is great! Thanks Ralph, will see what I can find on the company

  4. Nancy Avatar

    Wonder if its possible to take a wind turbine (like the one in the video) and mount a solar panel on the top? Twice the bang for the buck!

  5. Doryfun Avatar

    Thanks Ralph. Cool design. Any idea what these things cost or where they are manufactured?

  6. Doryfun Avatar

    Hey Nancy,

    Just found your post, thank you for that link. I’m saving up.


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.

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Ralph Maughan