Award of the state



Photo by David Robert

Reno attorney Harvey Whittemore has received an award from the San Francisco office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was given for his Coyote Springs housing development in northern Clark County.

The development includes 82,000 homes and 16 golf courses. At a hearing in Reno last week, Nevada citizens expressed concern about plans to ship water from the north to the development.

The EPA award text says, “At every step of the way, Coyote Springs Investment has listened to concerns from the EPA and other federal agencies over the potential environmental impacts of its proposed development. In the spirit of responsible corporate partnership, Coyote Springs International made environmentally sensitive improvements to their project plans, including establishing the ‘Pahranagat Wash Conservation Corridor’ protecting the main stem of the Wash that flows north to south through the entire development site. Coyote Springs International stands as a model for environmentally sensitive development in the arid West.”

Critics say it’s a perfect example of the Bush administration’s approach to the environment.

Nevada blogger Hugh Jackson wrote, “Oh. My. Gawd.”

He elaborated (, “The EPA also said that Whittemore’s project ‘stands as a model for environmentally sensitive development in the arid West.’ A model, eh? Apparently the EPA is encouraging wild-eyed schemes to build unnecessary exurbs all over the desert.”

Progressive Leadership Alliance director Bob Fulkerson said that if Coyote Springs can qualify for an EPA award, Yucca Mountain may be in line for one, too.