The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
U.S. Navy Proposes Massive Land Grab to Test Bombs
Friday the U.S. Navy released details of a plan to seize more than 600,000 acres of public land in central Nevada to expand a bombing range. The land under threat includes rich habitat for mule deer, important desert springs and nesting sites for raptors like golden eagles.
If approved by Congress, the 1,536-page plan would transform entire valleys and mountain ranges into bombing targets. Combined with another proposal to expand the Air Force's Nevada Test and Training Range, the military is attempting to grab 1.75 million acres of public land in Nevada—an area larger than Delaware.
"It's outrageous that the Trump administration wants to ram another military takeover of public lands down our throats," said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The wide-open spaces of central Nevada's basin-and-range country are part of what makes our state so spectacular. Congress shouldn't let Trump seize hundreds of thousands of acres of public land so the military can drop bombs on our cherished wildlife and wild places."
The proposal would triple the size of Fallon Naval Air Station bombing ranges, seizing land in the iconic Fairview Peak area and the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge. The plan released Friday follows an earlier proposal to expand the Nevada Test and Training Range in southern Nevada, which would take more than 1.1 million acres of Desert National Wildlife Refuge, currently managed to protect bighorn sheep and other wildlife.
The public has 60 days to comment on the enormous draft environmental impact statement, shorter than the 90 days normally given to comment on such a lengthy and complex document. The Navy has scheduled public meetings in Hawthorne and Gabbs (Dec. 10), Austin and Eureka (Dec. 11), Fallon (Dec. 12), and Reno and Lovelock (Dec. 13).
"The military has a long history of trying to stymie legally required public involvement," said Donnelly. "We'll shine a bright light on this process and highlight the risks this bombing range expansion poses to wildlife and public lands."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jeff Turrentine
First off: Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the intricately wrought, elegantly crafted debut novel by the Thai-American author Pitchaya Sudbanthad, isn't really about climate change. This tale set in the sprawling subtropical Thai capital is ultimately a kind of family saga — although its interconnected characters aren't necessarily linked by a bloodline. What binds them is their relationship to a small parcel of urban land on which has variously stood a Christian mission, an upper-class family house, and a towering condominium. All of the characters have either called this place home or had some other significant connection to it.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Thursday banning public schools or universities in the state from using Native American mascots, names or imagery. Mills' action will make Maine the first state in the nation with such a ban once it goes into effect later this year, The Bangor Daily News reported.
Inslee's 'Evergreen Economy Plan' Calls for $9 Trillion Investment in New Green Jobs, Would Help Fossil Fuel Workers Transition
By Julia Conley
A new climate action plan put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is being praised for highlighting the enormous benefits that would result from a rapid shift in the U.S. to a renewable energy economy that centers on the needs of workers and vulnerable communities.