BLM closes federal lands to mining, in favor of industrial-scale solar projects
BLM, in order to evaluate federal lands as to their "environmental and resource suitability for utility-scale solar energy development," has issued "a Notice of Segregation of Public Lands for approximately 677,000 acres in six Western states. With this notice, 24 tracts of BLM-administered land located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah will be temporarily segregated from the location of mining claims or other land appropriations for a two-year period."
"To allow for continued analysis of these lands, the BLM published a notice in the Federal Register proposing a five-year withdrawal on April 21, 2011." [right, BLM solar study areas in western Arizona. Credit, BLM]
A concern raised earlier is that speculators were filing mining claims in areas of high potential for large industrial solar energy operations, in expectations of being able to sell the claims to solar companies for a big profit.