I-10 billboard criticizes LA proposal to run electrical lines through Inland areas

The Press-Enterprise

Opponents of Green Path North, a plan to route about 80 miles of electrical transmission lines through the desert near Joshua Tree National Park and the foothills of San Bernardino County, have taken their protest to Interstate 10.

The Wildlands Conservancy rented a billboard along the eastbound freeway, just east of the outlet mall in Cabazon, to protest the project proposed by the city of Los Angeles. The ad depicts a sunset over Joshua trees and the park’s signature rocks. It includes a red slash through a picture of a transmission tower and the Web address of the California Desert Coalition, a conservancy-associated group formed to fight Green Path.

The billboard reads: “L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, It’s not yours to destroy!”

The sign is aimed at capturing the eye of desert-bound tourists, said David Myers, executive director of The Wildlands Conservancy. It is the first full-size display in a 100-billboard, $400,000 campaign, he said.

The conservancy is an Oak Glen nonprofit that acquires and preserves open space for public use. The group owns the 20,000-acre Pipes Canyon Wilderness, northeast of Yucca Valley near Pioneertown, and land in Oak Glen, both areas the group says could be in the route of Green Path North. A smaller billboard was posted last year along Oak Glen Road in Oak Glen.

“We’re just going to do whatever it takes to protect our communities,” Myers said. “It speaks directly to the mayor about destroying our local lands and begs Angelinos to be a good sister city.”

Neither Villaraigosa’s office nor a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power returned phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.

“Mayor Villaraigosa is the only single person who can stop this without a whole lot of process. We wanted to put it in his lap, to tell him, ‘This is your responsibility. This is your legacy you’re playing with,’ ” said David Miller, of Pioneertown, who took the photographs for the billboard.

Last fall, The Wildlands Conservancy launched a postcard-writing campaign to Villaraigosa urging him to choose a different route for Green Path North. Myers said 35,000 postcards were sent from Oak Glen in an effort to keep high-voltage towers off the hilltops surrounding the apple-growing region.

The controversial Green Path North project would route geothermal energy from the Salton Sea, as well as wind and solar power, to 5 million customers in Los Angeles and possibly some Inland cities.

Opponents, including numerous desert cities and the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, say the project would devastate pristine land and critical habitat and could lead to a federal utility corridor designation that might be used for more utility projects.

Los Angeles officials have said they would need a path no more than 330 feet wide and would take steps to bury lines in sensitive areas.

Check out the site for the:

California Desert Coalition

And here’s the map of  LA’s preferred corridor, and the wide line on the map is accurate as they’re planning a TWO to FIVE mile wide corridor!  Really!  TWO to FIVE miles!


Here’s another site — groups fighting this stupid “Green Path North” idea:

STOP Green Path North, LADWP and Imperial Irrigation District