As explained in this video, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has come up with an historic plan to permanently protect large areas of California desert, including protection from renewable energy development in places like this that would negatively impact the ecosystem.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has issued an historic and far-reaching decision balancing conservation with renewable energy development across a vast swath of the California desert. It’s called the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, or DRECP, and will permanently protect significant areas of public lands in the California desert—including the Silurian Valley, Mayan Peak, and Chuckwalla Bench.
The plan also identifies certain areas of public lands in the desert that will be available for potential renewable energy development.
Read more about the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan at: http://pew.org/2cKRLUb
Text: The Bureau of Land Management has issued an historic and far-reaching decision balancing conservation with renewable energy development across a vast swath of the California desert. It’s called the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, or DRECP.
PATRICK DONNELLY of the Amargosa Conservancy: “The DRECP is considered by many as a solar development plan but it also has really substantial conservation provisions in it, specifically designating National Conservation Lands. The planners of the DRECP recognized what a unique area Amargosa is; almost every acre of public land in the Amargosa region is proposed as NCL. This will help protect our critical resources, in particular places like Tacopa Marsh that provide habitat for endangered species that thrive in our area. Conservation designations under the DRECP are the single most important conservation objective that we are pursuing here in the Amargosa.
FRAZIER HANEY of the Mojave Desert Land Trust: “One of the conservation vehicles in the DRECP for public lands is to include those conserved lands inside of the National Conservation Lands. These are nationally significant lands across the West, that our national monuments, our wilderness areas, our wilderness study areas. The DRECP would include these treasured places inside of that system of national lands.
The National Conservation Land designation in the DRECP would take advantage of this opportunity that we have to protect an entire ecosystem. And, if we get it right by protecting these conservation lands, these amazing places, we protect the wildlife corridor between the Mojave and the Sonoran populations of desert tortoise. We protect key corridors for the movement of bighorn sheep. We are protecting watersheds, we protect spring sources, that all the wildlife in the desert depend on. We are protecting some of the areas that we know are critical for wildlife and the survival of wildlife that don’t have an existing layer of protection right now. When we think about the DRECP and the National Conservation Lands, we are really finishing the work that was started in 1976 by Congress when they said that the California desert was easily scared and slowly heals.
TEXT: Thank you, BLM, for directing future renewable energy projects to less sensitive areas while conserving wild places and protecting the desert’s iconic wildlife. We look forward to you ensuring these protected areas are also made off-limits to industrial mining.