CRIT asks Obama to stop solar projects after artifacts found in desert

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / April 11, 2012)

Is there an ancient Indian burial ground near the proposed Genesis solar project site? The Colorado River Indian Tribes is saying there is, and asking the federal government to stop development of some planned solar sites.

The Los Angeles Times reports thus:

The Feb. 27 letter from the chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes was pleading and tough. It asked President Obama to slow the federal government’s “frantic pursuit” of massive solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert because of possible damage to Native American cultural resources.

The Obama administration didn’t respond. But four days after Chairman Eldred Enas sent the letter, the Indians say they found an answer, delivered by spirits of the desert.

Howling winds uncovered a human tooth and a handful of burned bone fragments the size of quarters on a sand dune in the shadow of new solar power transmission towers. Indians say the discovery is evidence of a Native American cremation site not detected in Southern California Edison’s archaeological survey before the towers were built.

Solar projects of this sort are increasingly being relied upon to provide for the future of our energy needs, prompting one executive involved in the project to ask if the desert should remain unused for these purposes because of “a diffuse scatter of artifacts?”

The question then remains as to how we use America’s public lands, and to what claim Native Americans have on them. If tribes declared the whole desert to be sacred and untouchable, would all development and other uses of the land need to be scuttled? And what should be done with high value ancient tribal artifacts?

See the rest of the article HERE.

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