Environmental Group Partners with Nevada Tribe to Sue Over Geothermal Power Plant Construction

The Center for Biological Diversity issued a press release last Thursday announcing their intent to sue the United States Bureau of Land Management over the construction of a geothermal power plant and its subsequent endangerment of the Dixie Valley Toad.

The Dixie Valley toad, according to the organizations, lives exclusively in the hot spring-fed Dixie Meadows in central Nevada. Last Monday, the species was afforded an emergency Endangered Species Act listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service said that there was “a high degree of certainty that geothermal production will have severe, negative effects” on the neighboring springs, which the species relies on to survive.

The action by the Fallon-Paiute-Shoshone Tribe and the Center for Biological Diversity seeks to halt the construction at the geothermal power plant altogether and see that any future construction is ensured by the Bureau of Land Management to not endanger the toad.

The Great Basin Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, Patrick Donnelly, explained that “the emergency federal protection is a crucial lifeline for Dixie Valley toads, but bulldozers are still digging up their habitat… it’s outrageous that the Bureau of Land Management is putting these animals at risk of extinction by allowing construction to continue.”The Bureau of Land Management approved the geothermal power plant construction in 2021 despite concerns from both federal and state wildlife managers. Both the Center and the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe sued the agency after this approval. Though the suit originally resulted in a preliminary injunction stopping construction of the plant, it was later overturned with no explanation, according to the release.