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Analysis: Trump’s plan to reopen California desert renewable energy pact could have big impact

Dried-out mud crackles underfoot as David Lamfrom walks across Silurian Lake toward two lonely creosote bushes, which make for as good a destination as any in this sun-baked backwater of the California desert. Patches of yellow wildflowers decorate the flat, dry lake bed, which sits in a valley ringed by mountains, 20 miles from the nearest town. That would be Baker, population 735, best known for the world's tallest thermometer.

Some of the desert's most iconic creatures find shelter here in Silurian Valley, from burrowing desert tortoises, to bighorn sheep that leave tracks across the landscape, to golden eagles that nest in the mountains. But what Lamfrom loves most about Silurian Valley is the solitude. The only signs of human civilization are distant power lines, barely visible on the horizon, and the occasional car or RV zipping by on the two-lane highway that connects Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park.


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