Joshua Tree National Park is both a place and an experience. Divided by two distinct ecosystems, the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, it’s a location where you’re able to back county camp, explore on horseback, do some epic sport climbing take a trip to explore the vast and open sky surrounding this amazing National Park. It’s also a location that may have one of its most critical resources taken from beneath its rocky surface. It’s ground water
Soon there may be a $1.4 billion energy-storage project in which desert groundwater would be pumped to high-elevation reservoirs (aka- open pit mines) near Joshua Tree National Park
The Eagle Mine land was part of the original Joshua Tree National Monument when it was established by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936
The “Eagle Mountain Hydroelectric Project” would use two closed iron ore pits to hold water pumped from ground water wells on the desert floor about 15 miles away.
These are the same Eagle Mountain mine pits where developers had sought to build the world’s largest landfill. – Skull Rock
The center, as well as the National Parks Conservation Association, oppose the project, arguing its water use could deplete an aquifer that goes under the park and may cause springs important to wildlife to dry up.
Filling the plant would require nearly 8 billion gallons and take over three to four years of constant pumping depleting an already stressed aquifer.
The project could destroy desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, and golden eagle habitat and the solitude of JTNP would be ruined thanks to the round the clock large-scale industrial use just next door.
Perhaps the public land should be returned to the park as intended by President Roosevelt.
In the National Park Service found that private and public lands in the Eagle Mountain area would be suitable for Joshua Tree, which became a national park in 1994.