Manzanar Committee launches petition to oppose Owens Valley Solar Ranch Project


LOS ANGELES – The Manzanar Committee announced that it has launched an online petition drive calling on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to halt its efforts to build their proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch Project, which the committee described as “a 200-megawatt solar energy generating facility that would consist of solar photovoltaic panel modules and associated infrastructure.”

The “approximately 1,200-acre project site would be located on city of Los Angeles-owned property east of the Owens River, but in a direct line of sight with the Manzanar National Historic Site, which lies to the immediate west, in California’s Owens Valley,” the statement said.

Thousands of Japanese Americans were wrongfully imprisoned at the site during World War II.

“The Manzanar National Historic Site stands as one of the most impressive, thorough exhibits on the Japanese American incarceration experience,” Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey said. “The National Park Service staff does an incredible job, day in and day out, of telling the story. But now, a massive solar farm with thousands of solar panels could distract from, and negatively impact, the Manzanar National Historic Site. It is essential that LADWP understands the impact such a massive project would have on the site.”

Embrey said that organizations in the Owens Valley such as the Big Pine Paiute Tribe, the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the Owens Valley Committee oppose the LADWP proposal.

“Many in the Owens Valley community stand against this project, citing that it is poorly conceived in its evaluation of the effect on the natural beauty of the area, the impact of maintenance, high fences and herbicides to wildlife, and the adverse effect to local tourist economies,” Embrey noted.

“Many residents of the Owens Valley worry about the LADWP,” Embrey added. “The owner of more than 80 percent of the land in the Owens Valley — by far, the largest landowner in the area — they not only control the water, draining it for consumption in Los Angeles, but they have failed to mitigate the dangerous environmental threats to the Owens Valley that their work has created.”

Embrey urged the community to sign the online petition, and to send letters to the LADWP expressing their opposition.

To access the petition, visit The online petition drive will run through mid-January 2014.

For more info, contact the Manzanar Committee at (323) 662-5102 or

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