June 11, 2011 (Mesa Verde) -- La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle and the Colorado River Environmental Warriors invite the public to join in a protest June 18 that tribal members hope will help stop destruction of sacred Native American sites by approved desert solar power projects in California. Native Americans have raised concerns about numerous desert solar farms planned in the state, including a project in Imperial County that would bring power to San Diego. The June 18 protest is slated for Blythe, however, where construction is underway and ancient geoglyphs are reportedly being destroyed.
“These solar panel companies have no respect for our sacred sites and their number one goal is to get President Obama’s fast-track stimulus money before September 30, 2011,” a release issued by the group states. “The companies have already destroyed part of the Sun and True North Geoglyphs when they made the 100-ft wide, 5-mile long roadway that connects the frontage road with the 7,500 acres of the Blythe Solar Power Project. The twin giant geoglyphs of Kokopilli/Cicimitl as well as the Creators Throne and over 25 geoglyphs/petroglyphs and miles of other scared sites and trails are being threatened. “
In addition, opponents of the projects say that many wildlife species are threatened, such as the Desert Tortoise, Flat-Tail Hornet Lizard, Mojave Rattlesnakes and other desert animals, particularly birds that could be killed flying over the concentrated beams of light from the panels. “We need solar panels on each rooftop, not on our sacred sites,” the group concludes.