Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eagle Mountain Landfill, Near Joshua Tree. Is it Good Or Bad?

It started out chilly, but the sun soon warmed things up, so that the cats could spend some outside time on the screen porch. Prime would rather be in the house though, and pretty well stick close to me. She never asks for anything, just quietly lays, or 'laze', around. But when she and Patches are together, I often see Prime washing Patches like she is her kitten.

I still can't get my pictures to sync from Picasa 3 to Web Albums, like many others on Picasa's Help forum, so I was looking for an alternate place to keep pictures. I spent ages uploading them, so while that was going on, I was checking emails on my laptop, and doing various jobs around here.

One bit of information that I found out was concerning Eagle Mountain, which is surrounded on three sides by Joshua Tree National Park:
"NPCA has scored a landmark victory in a long-term battle to protect Joshua Tree National Park from what would be the nation's largest garbage dump--the Eagle Mountain landfill! The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down its decision invalidating the land exchange needed for this massive dump to proceed. NPCA has been fighting the proposed landfill--surrounded on three sides by Joshua Tree National Park's wilderness--for more than a decade. The nation's largest garbage dump on the doorstep of Joshua Tree National Park is just a bad idea all around. Development of the Eagle Mountain landfill would threaten the long-term survival of wildlife such as desert bighorn sheep and the desert tortoise; cause light pollution and air pollution that would impair our ability to see stars while camping at Joshua Tree; and destroy the solitude of the wilderness."

I did a bit of looking around, and the mountain is already scarred from mining, click to enlarge, if you wish.

It looks like Eagle Mountain is quite a long way from the Joshua Trees, and that the Big-Horn sheep and tortoises have plenty of space to roam. But I have never been there, so I cannot judge, but I'd like hear from folks who have.

Apparently they have already built a railroad to carry trains of garbage to the proposed landfill. It obviously would not have been built through the park. The millions of tons of garbage that is created, has to go SOMEWHERE, and these landfill people usually a keep the land a lot better looking than a mining company.

"The Coachella Valley Preserve and Painted Canyon--two natural areas near Joshua Tree National Park that are along the San Andreas Fault system, and display many features about the geology and natural history of southern California. "

"The Eagle Mountain Landfill is located on 4,643 acres of land in Riverside County. The Eagle Mountain Landfill has a total capacity of 708 million tons allowing the facility to operate for over 100 years at a maximum of 20,000 tons per day. The landfill footprint will eventually encompass 2,164 acres of the property. The Eagle Mountain Landfill is fully permitted to receive residual solid waste by rail from Southern California. However, the purchase of Eagle Mountain Landfill by the Sanitation Districts and its eventual operation are contingent upon successful resolution of pending federal litigation. From:

"Today, 11/10/09, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous District Court ruling that the federal land exchange that was at the heart of the landfill project was done improperly. This is a major blow for those wanting to build the landfill and I now doubt that they try to continue the project since it would almost be like starting all over again. So, this most likely means the Eagle Mountain Railroad has seen its last train and I my guess the tracks will be abandoned and pulled up sometime in 2010. Look forward to seeing waste trains running from Puente Hills to the Mesquite Landfill near Glamis, but not Eagle Mountain. What will actually happen to Eagle Mountain and its railroad is unknown as those parties in charge will have to make decisions about there fate in the coming months. I hope that if nothing else, they can save the mine and townsite as an historical site since its a prime example of a 20th Century company town."

Now, this fellow likes to visit there regularly, and he took some lovely pictures:
I am sure if someone was wanting to mess around with the ecology there, he would be up in arms about it.

The Big Horn sheep and tortoises could stay away from the railroad tracks. The moose got used to the Alaska Pipeline, where would we be without that? Sometimes we have to encroach upon nature to keep us all going. I am all for preserving nature, but the garbage of those that don't recycle, and just throw stuff out willy-nilly, has to be catered to, too. The land is already messed up, so maybe the landfill would fix it.
Now, if the trains and tractors are going to cause noise pollution in the park, that is a Big Horn Sheep of a different color.

Just my thought for the day.

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