logo-sized-clean-500

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

PRESS RELEASE FROM GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK 

(September 29, 2017)-- “The project should not proceed in Spring Valley until it can be demonstrated that it will not impact the sustainability of the Park’s ecological, economic, and social resources,” stated Kathryn Griffith, representing the Great Basin National Park Foundation. Ms. Griffith, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, read a statement Friday before the State Water Engineer that asked for suspension of proposed groundwater pumping in Spring Valley, until potential impacts to the Park’s dark night skies and water resources have been fully assessed and mitigated. Great Basin National Park is Nevada’s only National Park.

“We must take into consideration air quality and its effects on dark night skies as well as other resources that are required by the Park’s 1986 enabling legislation to be preserved in perpetuity,” said Ms. Griffith. The Great Basin National Park Foundation, the nonprofit philanthropic and educational organization supporting the Park, believes that the project’s construction and maintenance, as well as the “long term drying effects from groundwater pumping, will create dust in Spring Valley”. This is of great concern since individuals and foundations invested $850,000 into the construction of the Great Basin Observatory, a state-of-the-art, remotely operated, research grade observatory, the first ever constructed in a National Park. The observatory, which opened in 2016, is operated by a partnership including University of Nevada Reno, Western Nevada College, Southern Utah University, and Concordia University. It allows students, teachers, researchers, and Park visitors anywhere in the world, to access some of the most stable and truly dark night skies in the contiguous U.S.

The project could also cause water levels to fall enough to harm a newly discovered arthropod species found nowhere in the world except in Great Basin National Park, and could harm the Park’s famous Lehman Caves, a draw for many of the Park visitors.