Letter to the editor: growers ask Board to reject REGPA

farmersmarketvegOwens Valley Growers Cooperative Resolution Regarding the Inyo County Proposed Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment 

Whereas, Owens Valley Growers Cooperative has recently incorporated as a small business based in Independence with the mission of growing our local food-shed for residents and eco-tourists,

Whereas developing our local food-shed consists of increasing small scale local sustainable agriculture and developing markets for locally grown produce,

Whereas OVGC has developed a successful Certified Farmers Market in Independence and Lone Pine, which has attracted significant numbers of tourists to the market,

Whereas OVGC seeks to reopen Mairs Market as an access point for healthy food choices, including locally grown produce and added-value products, for residents and tourists,

Whereas OVGC seeks to further an economic development plan that includes job development in work that complements, rather than works against, tourism,

Whereas OVGC needs tourist income to achieve a successful business model,

Whereas small sustainable agriculture can complement tourism by improving the quality of food available to our tourists through local markets and restaurants, and by engaging in land use which is appealing to tourists, rather than industrial views,

Whereas industrial scale solar panels or wind developments as allowed by the County’s proposed Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment would damage the beauty of Inyo County and create an industrial environment not attractive to tourists,

Whereas Mono County actively supports local food-based initiatives which complement tourism as Mono County’s primary economic engine,

Be it resolved that Owens Valley Growers Cooperative hereby calls on our County leadership to

reject the proposed Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment and to

work with Inyo County residents to develop plans focused on tourism and sustainable agriculture which further economic development in our community.


11 Responses to Letter to the editor: growers ask Board to reject REGPA

  1. Desert Tortoise March 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    If the county fails to engage in a planning process that allows solar installations to be built in an orderly fashion in the county, the state and Federal governments, who are the only two approval authorities, will simply site and approve them without county input. The county cannot veto or deny permits to build these solar plants. Only the state and Federal governments have that authority. The best a county can do is work with the California Energy Commission and BLM to obtain some concessions for the county in exchange for the county participating in the process. No county can simply say no, the state will ignore them, and legally can.

    • MajorTom March 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm #


      Best check your authorities. The CEC is the sole state permitting authority for solar thermal facilities (mirrors), not photo voltaic panels. Cities and counties can and do regulate industrial PV, although individuals have the right to install panels on their roofs or in their yards, but not at an industrial scale. The federal government generally can decide what land uses happen on federal lands and city owned lands are more grey.

      • Desert Tortoise March 10, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

        No. Here are web pages describing the process for approving utility scale PV projects.



        • MajorTom March 11, 2014 at 10:26 am #

          You are confusing the authority of the CPUC to regulate utilities with the authority of local government to control land use within its jurisdiction. For solar thermal generation, the CEC can permit construction of utility scale projects despite local land use laws. For PV projects on private land, the CEC has no jurisdiction, and the local government land use controls apply. A utility would need approval from the CPUC to charge its customers for the plant and would have to comply with county or city land use regulations. On federal land, the local government has little or no land use jurisdiction and likely could not regulate the location of a power plant. On city owned land outside of the city’s jurisdiction, such as in the Owens Valley, the authorities are murkier.

          • Desert Tortoise March 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

            I disagree. In a recent pv project in Riverside County it was the CEC that granted license approval.

          • MajorTom March 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

            You can lead a tortoise to water, but you can’t make him drink.

    • Russ Monroe March 11, 2014 at 7:35 am #

      Disinformation T_ _ _ ,
      Beyond your propensity for proliferation of voluminous partial, irrelevant, sidebars, you consistently ignore any and all reporting here that disproves whatever point you want to fictionalize about.
      Two branches of the federal government have repeatedly and absolutely stated, in writing, in public, the fact that they will not allow most of the uses detailed in the REGPA. Ah, but first hand reporting, and fact has nothing to do with anything that you write, does it?
      You are the disinformation King!

      • Ken Warner March 11, 2014 at 9:11 am #

        Which two branches of the Federal Government? Could you provide links to their statements on this issue? Have these branches of the Federal Government created legislation preventing renewable energy installations in the Owens Valley?

        It sounds like those branches of the Federal Government are Republican led committees who frequently make such statements. Could you please give more detail about what you say?

        • Russ Monroe March 11, 2014 at 10:27 am #

          Links? Ken, I was there, at the public meetings. Comments have been posted on this site. Their written objections are part of the public record. The short answer is the US Park Service, and the Department of Defense. Neither needs to pass any legislation to to prevent this. I have given detail, you might want to read before you write, or even better; be there to listen for yourself.

          • Ken Warner March 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

            The Dept. of Defence is not a branch of government. Neither is the Park Service. They are entities created by the Federal Government to provide specific services. Neither make laws. Neither can, “…not allow most of the uses detailed in the REGPA…” They can lobby against REGPA but they can’t not allow it’s implementation.

            Again, I ask you to supply the documents and information you refer to or is it you who are giving disinformation?

          • Russ Monroe March 12, 2014 at 7:01 am #

            Again Ken; all previously posted on this site. It is not my responsibility to provide you with a one-click lifestyle. Look it up yourself.


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