PLAN PROTECTING MILLIONS OF DESERT ACRES FROM DEVELOPMENT IN JEOPARDY

PLAN PROTECTING MILLIONS OF DESERT ACRES FROM DEVELOPMENT IN JEOPARDY

The Trump Administration announced yesterday that it will consider scrapping a conservation plan developed during the Obama Administration to protect millions of acres of desert in California. The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, finalized in 2016, was an eight-year effort to protect 10.8 million acres of sensitive desert ecosystems—including Joshua trees, desert tortoises, and bighorn sheep—by limiting where solar and wind energy projects could be developed. Reconsidering the desert conservation plan could open millions of acres of land to solar and wind development, and possibly to mining, grazing, and off-road vehicles as well. The Trump Administration says that California will not be able to meet its goal of having 50 percent of its energy produced from renewable energy sources in 2030 without opening up the desert for energy development. California officials and conservationists disagreed, and immediately spoke out against reopening the plan. Senator Dianne Feinstein said she questions the logic of reopening the plan that was a compromise between energy developers and conservationists, and adamantly opposes it. Frazier Haney of the Mojave Desert Land Trust said reopening the plan would create chaos. Public comments on reopening the plan will be taken for 45 days.

For more information, visit:
http://www.blm.gov/california/drecp

You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria to:
BLM-California State Director
2800 Cottage Way
Rm W-1623
Sacramento, CA 95825

Or electronically to: BLM_CA_DRECP@blm.gov

For more information, contact:
Jeremiah Karuzas
Renewable Energy Lead
2800 Cottage Way, Rm W-1623
Sacramento, CA 95825

Email: jkaruzas@blm.gov
Phone: 916-978-4644

Leave a Reply