Why is record-setting thru-hiker Adam Bradley hiking 501 miles through the wildest parts of Nevada in 15 days? Nevada Wilderness Project and Adam launched this unusual project in order to use his speed hiking odyssey to explore some of the issues and opportunities facing conservationists as renewable energy projects increasingly spread to wilderness areas. Adam and the Nevada Wilderness Project are documenting the SWIP Trip on the Nevada Wilderness Project’s blog. It’s a must read and you can support the SWIP Trip here.
What is the SWIP Trip?
The SWIP Trip began on Earth Day near Twin Falls, Idaho and will end just outside of Las Vegas on May 6th. Adam is hiking along the path of one of the most ambitious renewable energy projects in the west–the Southwest Intertie Project will carry renewable energy between the Midpoint Substation in north Jerome County, Idaho and the Harry Allen Substation, just north of Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada—and beyond. It will change the landscape of Eastern Nevada and is considered by many to be the “backbone” of Nevada’s new clean energy economy.
Adam on Day 10 discussing hiking through part of the Egan mountain range:
Into The Wild
Most of the new energy pipeline runs through public land; Adam’s taking to the public roads when the SWIP’s path passes through private land. He’s hiking through high quality sage grouse habitat, large mammal travel corridors, canyons, dirt roads, ranches, neighboring towns, and areas that will be changed by the construction of the line.
Adam is photographing and filming some of the route to help document the land in it’s current state. Nevada Wilderness Project staff is meeting up with him in the evenings to talk about what he sees and to post photographs and blog posts—both Adam’s and others generated by the staff.
Conservation and Renewable Energy
The intersection of Adam’s low-impact, unsupported style of hiking with an impending renewable energy transmission line is a unique circumstance in which to explore some of the issues and opportunities facing conservationists. It offers us a way to paint a realistic picture of the line’s impact on the landscape, and highlight conservation opportunities accompanying the line’s construction. The goals of the SWIP Trip include:
- Envision the transmission line in its entirety through Adam’s extraordinary ground-level experience
- See how the line will affect the natural landscape
- Understand its impacts on wildlife
- Investigate conservation opportunities that come with that development
- And especially, to tell everyone what we learn.
Photo courtesy of Nevada Wilderness Project