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Power Corridor Plan Locks Horns with Sheep...And NV Property Owners

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 By Michael Clifford/Mandy Walker, Contact
June 20, 2007

Las Vegas, NV - A federal plan to modernize the delivery of electric power nationwide raises serious state rights, property rights, and public land protections issues in Nevada. It's a plan widely criticized by states' rights groups, conservation organizations, Native Americans and private property owners because the lines are mapped all across private and public land. Nick Dobrich with the Nevada Wilderness Project says even the Desert National Wildlife Refuge could be criss-crossed with giant power lines and lines could show up in people's backyards.

“It's so magnificent, because it is such a huge chunk of wild land; and if it gets fragmented, not only is it going to reduce the acreage of the site, but it's also going to drastically hurt the desert big horn sheep.”

Dobric thinks the lines could be moved just a few miles to protect private property and state lands. And such a move would help the desert bighorn sheep. Urban sprawl means there is only a half-mile buffer between North Las Vegas and the Refuge.

“They need wild land to have good habitat, there are some huge chunks that aren't even roaded and we want to keep it that way. It's not necessary to dissect the area and fragment the habitat any more.”

The Department of Energy calls the corridors a crucial step toward realizing President Bush's goal of a modern, more efficient electric power delivery system.

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