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Please sign the petition to save the Sacred Sites and Landscape on Palo Verde Mesa along the Colorado River,

This petition had 377 supporters


Just west of Blythe, CA, you can walk out into the desert and find numerous rock alignments, giant geoglyphs, figures etched into the desert soil, ancient trails, petroglyphs, and images viewed in the mountain peaks that tell the stories of the oral traditions like a book visible in the rocks.  

Large-scale solar power plant projects threaten this Sacred Landscape. Solar projects are a great energy source when placed in the right landscape, such as already disturbed ground or on urban area rooftops near the place where the energy is needed. But no large energy project belongs here. The viewscapes are open and when standing at certain geoglyphs -- literally "writings in stone" -- specific peaks can be seen in the distance that indicate relationships with the Creator. Stories inter-relate between figures on the ground and figures visible in the mountain ranges surrounding the Palo Verde Valley mesa. These sacred viewsheds need to remain intact, with no industrial development blocking them.

This is a landscape where you cannot simply fence off one geoglyph and preserve its meaning and context. This whole landscape should be conserved at a sacred area.   Engraved images on the ground that are being threatened in the landscape include such examples as the giant twin geoglyphs of Kokopilli & Cicimitl: they represent the ending of a Sun and the beginning of the New Knowledge. Cicimitl is the ending which takes the spirits to their final resting place at Topock Maze (Mictlan) which its location is Magnetic North (beginning from the Mule Mountains “Calli” (Earth) in the south). Kokopilli is leaving because he is hurt “pilli” and he is leaving to start a new beginning.  Geoglyphs (intaglios) are on top of mesetas in the  tarnished-pebble-scattered natural desert pavement, forming a continuum of past cultural legacies with present living traditions.

Local tribes and residents consider these rock alignments and geometric patterns in the stony ground to be sacred, connecting the present with the past, and they are actively cared for. In spite of the fact that these sites are still actively used by indigenous people, the Bureau of Land Management has basically determined that these sites are not significant enough to be avoided by developers. So far, two of these sites have been damaged or completely destroyed by the first development of the Blythe Solar Energy Project.  

The majority of these Sacred Sites and images relate to the surrounding area of the I-10 corridor. The I-10 Highway in Eastern Riverside County parallels some of the most sacred trails that connect many of the sacred sites that are located within the area. That is where the Cocomaricopa trail goes east/west and joins together with the Quechan north/south trail at the south end of the Blythe solar power project. These trails lead from the Blythe Giant Intaglios by the Colorado River, Mule Mountains to Eagle Mountain range (at the Joshua Tree National Park) and from the Creator's Throne on Black Rock Peak (10 miles west of Blythe, CA) that leads to Corn Springs (Tulla ) in the Chuckawalla Mountains.   The lower Colorado River Basin Valleys have been the home of many different indigenous linguistic families which at one time or another left and returned to the area. They went on their journey to the four directions. Their migration is symbolized by the Nahui-Ollin meaning four directions in the Nahuatl language. Some of the nations settled permanently in the area and others such as the Athapaskans left the Colorado River. Some went north to Alaska before the last Ice Age according to Chief Gary Harrison of the Athapaskan tribe. Other nations such as the Azteca and Olmeca went south thousands of years ago. The Chichimeca followed afterwards, then the Tolteca, Yaqui, and finally the Mexica in the 12th century, approximately 1160 AD. Some of the nations have gone full circle returning to the Colorado River.  

Solar energy is a wonderful technology if sited in the appropriate locations. When large energy projects threaten the very existence of these sacred sites, they must be moved to rooftops and other places in the built environment as well as lands that have been previously developed.  

Please move these large solar project proposals to more appropriate locations such as disturbed ground, or better yet, build solar installations on rooftops and over parking lots in the urban areas. Save our sacred desert landscapes.

Alfredo Figueroa

Elder/Historian

La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle.



Today: Alfredo is counting on you

Alfredo Figueroa needs your help with “Interior Secretary Sally Jewell / President Barack Obama: Save the Blythe Sacred Sites from Sprawling Energy Development and Solar Power Projects: Please sign the petition to save the Sacred Sites and Landscape on Palo Verde Mesa along the Colorado River,”. Join Alfredo and 376 supporters today.