At the last DRECP Subcommittee meeting, approximately 200 people showed up at the Bureau of Land Management office in Moreno Valley, which completely overwhelmed that facility. To see what a group can do when they come together to oppose a project in an area that would affect them, please visit this website: http://noonwindmills.com/ August 4, 2014
The long-awaited draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (aka “DRECP”) has finally been released for the public’s review and comment before it is approved and becomes law. There is no doubt that this will affect future access to our public lands. Posted September 25, 2014
This is a first ever plan prepared jointly by Federal and State agencies to designate all lands, public and private, within a vast portion (22.5 million acres) of California, as preferred either for alternative energy projects (“Development Focus Areas”, or “DFOs”) or as preferred for “conservation”. “Conservation” is defined broadly to include recreation as well as species and habitat conservation. The plan will have maps associated with it, and there will be many alternatives, including a no change alternative as well as the alternative that the agencies have designated as “preferred”. Following its approval, this Plan will allow developers of alternative energy projects to undergo a much simpler and quicker approval process for projects in DFO’s, and it will make it more burdensome for them to obtain approvals for such projects in areas designated as preferred for “conservation”. Here is a link to the main web page for the DRECP
The public agencies have set up a Data Basin map system with the plan maps that the public is encouraged to use to define the areas that we submit comments about. Although the information cannot be submitted directly from the Data Basin website, it does provide a vehicle to [relatively] easily identify the areas of our concern and record that information so that we can communicate it in a standard format to the public agencies. Here is a link to the Data Basin website for the DRECP
The public comment period for this plan ends January 9, 2015. This may seem like a long time, but it is very short considering the length and complexity of this plan, not to mention the huge geographic area affected by it. If you think it is unreasonably short, please do not hesitate to send them a comment letter NOW telling them so, and why. There is no limit on the number of comments any individual or group can make.