Park service: Project would harm Mojave preserve

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Updated: 3/20/2014 1:29 pm

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The National Park Service says a proposed 6.5-square-mile solar development about a half-mile from the Mojave National Preserve would harm wildlife and should be built elsewhere.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Wednesday that Preserve Superintendent Stephanie Dubois has submitted an eight-page letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the public land where the Soda Mountain solar project is planned.

The letter says the BLM failed to adequately examine the project's potential to harm groundwater and threatened and endangered species including the desert tortoise.

BLM spokeswoman Martha Maciel said officials would consider Dubois' comments as part of its evaluation process.

A subsidiary of Bechtel wants to put solar panels on both sides of Interstate 15 just outside the northwest corner of the preserve in the San Bernardino Mountains.

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