I’ve heard the comment from citizens. “How many solar leases are we going to have in the Eldorado Valley?” It continues to be an important issue to me since I sat with the secretary of interior, as mayor, to purchase the Eldorado Valley in 1994.
I also assisted in the development of a plan for the Eldorado Valley. In that plan, there were to be three uses in the valley. One was open space that also served to support the endangered desert tortoise. The second was to be recreation. That included all of the dry lake bed. The third use was for land as solar development. Solar development was to be less than 5,000 acres. Energy production land leases are presently close to 12,000 acres.
I have to ask the question – how much more of the Eldorado Valley does the city of Boulder City need to develop? I don’t believe anybody anticipated the current revenues of close to $14 million a year from leases in the Eldorado Valley, did they?
Capital expenditures are likely to be more appropriate than general fund uses for the lease revenues. That way, the city will continue to be able to afford whatever services it is providing from other revenue sources, even if power production revenues decline. Wouldn’t the city enjoy having a community center for events like chautauqua or other performances such as a film festival?
What is Boulder City really reflecting as a city? What is the obvious visionary expression of Boulder City? It is clear to me that as a city, Boulder City produces the greatest source of clean energy in the United States of America. Boulder City did build Hoover Dam, didn’t it? Boulder City has a large solar energy array on close to 12,000 acres, doesn’t it? Boulder City also controls its growth, thereby controlling the amount of water required.
Aren’t these realities by now obvious? Isn’t Boulder City improving, not degrading the world? Why not acknowledge with pride the visionary reality of Boulder City, Nevada? Believe to receive is the best way to take pride in our community.
Along those same lines, I am happy to learn that the Clark County Commission as well as the Boulder City Council voted unanimously to send President Joe Biden and Congress a resolution urging them to designate the land around Spirit Mountain as a national monument. Both town councils of Searchlight and Laughlin have also unanimously supported the designation of the national monument. Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada’s 1st Congressional District introduced H.R. 6751, the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Establishment Act of 2022 in February. Boulder City is now in the 1st Congressional District.
Avi Kwa Ame means Spirit Mountain in the Mojave language. It is the basis of several Native American tribes’ creation stories and is a popular outdoor recreation area. Awhile back I climbed Spirit Mountain to “dream with shamen” on this sacred mountain.
Prior to that I appeared at the Boulder City Council as an advocate for more wilderness in Nevada on Dec. 11, 2001. At that time, the Boulder City Council unanimously voted for following resolution No. 3880, supporting the designation of wilderness adjacent to Boulder City.
The more important aspects from that resolution follow:
Clark County is the fastest growing county in the United States with rapid population growth and increased access threatening the natural character of many of the lands on the horizon of Boulder City, which continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to the quality of life for its citizenry.
Boulder City has also demonstrated a desire to protect endangered species by setting aside a portion of land in the Eldorado Valley for the desert tortoise, and consistent with that desire, these proposed wilderness areas are protecting wildlife habitat for the desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep and numerous other wildlife species.
I am pleased to continue supporting the quality of life in Boulder City as well as making the world a better place to live and love. It has always been in my heart since I arrived in September 1981 with my family.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.
Eric Lundgaard is president of the Aquarian Theosophy Foundation and former mayor of Boulder City.