Analysis: Can big solar co-exist with a new NMon in the Mojave Desert?

The Mojave Desert in southeastern California is the mother lode of renewable energy. The sun shines about 360 days a year, making it hugely valuable territory for developers of solar power.

But the Mojave is also valuable to rare plants and animals and the people who want to protect them. That's why Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has proposed a national monument to keep some Mojave lands off-limits to energy development.

Some supporters of solar power worry that the establishment of a national monument in the Mojave could slow down the fight against global warming. But David Myers, director of the Wildlands Conservancy, says the lands were donated to the federal government for conservation. His organization raised $45 million to buy hundreds of thousands of acres, cleaned them up and then donated them to the government to preserve them.

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