500-Mile-Long Power Line Hits a Roadblock: Ice Age Fossils

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

an offer to build a More than a 500-mile stretch of transmission line in Nevada has been delayed DrDue to the discovery of possible fossil deposits in their path.

according to E&E Newsenvironmental review transmission line plan, It was originally scheduled for release in January, It may not be publicly available for a public comment period until May. That’s because the route of the Greenlink West power line, as proposed by NV Energy, runs through 1.5 miles of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monumentwhich was established as a National Park Service site in 2014.

The monument contains thousands of fossils from the ice age, known as the Pleistocene. About 90,000 years ago –until about 12,500 years agoThe area was full of wetlands that preserved the fauna of the Ice Age, from Mammoths and the familiar saber-toothed cats Creatures such as wolves, grouse, and snails.

The 22,650-acre park is located north of Las Vegas. for transmission line 470 miles The proposed path slices through the monument and from there runs roughly parallel to the western border of Nevada north to the outskirts of Reno.

According to the Bureau of Land Management‘s websiteThe GreenLink West project will be a new system of electric transmission facilities at 525 kilovolts (kV), 345 kilovolts, 230 kilovolts, and 120 kilovolts on private, state, and federal lands between northern and southern Nevada.

As currently described, the power line will take a 1.5-mile path through the National Park, 5 Feet within its borders near a road that divides the park into two parts.

NPS warned in comments submitted to the BLM last year that “the construction of the transmission line…will have the potential to impact fossil resources, including an undetermined number of fossil remains and unrecorded fossil sites,” According to Public Sector Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

ye National Park Service suggested use Ground penetrating radar to detect fossil deposits in the area. Those checks, funded by NV Energy, were completed by Geotech Global Consulting, and the results He was published in September. The report described the discovery of Ice Age vertebrate fossils inside the national monument.

One of the scans showed “a group of anomalies that could be vertebrate fossils,” according to the report, written by Thomas Urban, a research scientist at Geotech Global Consulting. (Urban and colleagues have previously used Ground-penetrating radar to find cartouche and human artifact fossils at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico).

Another survey conducted on deposits.which showed a large amount of small bone fragments eroded from the surface “discovered” a number of anomalies… some resembling vertebrate fossils. A third scan revealed tangible tusks sticking out of a cliff.

Finally, the deeper examination Finding possible fossils deeper than 33 feet (10 meters). Because of the uncertainty about the cause of these anomalies, ground-truth (and fossil) observations may be necessary to understand exactly what might be disturbing the power line, if it proceeded as planned.

As noted by E&E News, Bureau of Land Management It has little federal and protected lands to move around, including the Air Force Al Qaeda, Native American Tribal Sites, and Desert National Wildlife Refugethe largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska.

How BLM and NV Energy plan to navigate the legal quagmire remains to be seen; The public comment period following the final release of the Environmental Review may yield its own set of complaints.

More: Mammoth bones apparently slaughtered by humans found in New Mexico


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