20 Feb Action Alert: Defend the DRECP!
The Trump Administration has set the DRECP as its latest target – undermining the public process, eight years of collaboration and compromise, and threatening our public lands.The DRECP – Desert Renewable Energy and Conservation Plan – is meant to be the primary planning document for managing land use in the California Desert. It was developed through the combined efforts of user groups ranging from industry, outdoor recreationalists, conservationists, and others. With over 16,000 public comments submitted in the development process and the participation of national, state, county, and local interests, the plan is known as a great achievement of compromise and a testament to the power of the public process.
What You Should Do:
1. Submit a Comment to the Bureau of Land Management
The 45-day public comment period will close March 22. We have until then to speak up for our Desert treasures, and tell the Administration to keep the plan intact. To submit a comment:
- Visit the Online Comment Portal
- Send an email to BLM_CA_DRECP@blm.gov, or;
- Write to BLM at: BLM-California State Director, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1623, Sacramento, CA 95825.
2. Attend a Public Meeting
Attend one of your local meetings and tell BLM to leave this hard-won plan alone. There are 8 public meetings set up across the CA desert in the coming weeks, listed below. The AC will have representatives at at least four of these meetings (links below). Please be in touch if you would like to link up with us at the meeting.
5pm – 7pm
Lone Pine Film History Museum
701 S Main St,
Lone Pine, CA 93545
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
5pm – 7pm
Kerr-McGee Community Center
100 W. California Ave,
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
3pm – 5pm
Fairfield Inn & Suites
503 E Danenberg Dr,
El Centro, CA 92243
Monday, March 5, 2018
1pm – 3pm
2001 Point West Way,
Sacramento, CA 95815
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
5pm – 7pm
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
5pm – 7pm
UC Riverside, Palm Desert Center, Auditorium
75080 Frank Sinatra Dr.
Palm Desert, CA 92211
3. Attend a Board of Supervisors Meeting and/or Write Your Supervisor
Multiple counties will be weighing in on DRECP by submitting comments to BLM. Your voice and presence matters in their decision making. If you are unable to attend a supervisor meeting, write or call him/her to express your concerns.
If you live in Inyo County:
- Call your County Supervisor and ask him to support the DRECP in its current form. Talk about the places in the desert that are important to you, especially in Inyo County.
A few of the special places that could be threatened by the Trump administration’s action to modify the DRECP: the Amargosa Basin region including Eagle Mountain, Carson Slough, Willow Creek, and Tecopa Marsh. Elsewhere in Inyo County places protected under DRECP include Lower & Upper Centennial Flats, Conglomerate Mesa, Panamint Valley and Fossil Falls.
- Attend the Inyo County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday February 27 in Independence. Time: 8:30AM. Location: Supervisors’ Chambers. This will be an important opportunity to speak and is one of the most important actions you can take.
What you need to know (Talking Points!)
- The DRECP was a multiple year collaborative effort. Inyo County and its residents were actively involved in the DRECP. DRECP agencies including the State of California and the BLM traveled numerous times to Inyo County and held multiple meetings and workshops in collaboration with the County.
- Thank Inyo County for the extensive work it put into the DRECP and the County’s Renewable Energy Amendment to the General Plan (REGPA) which ensured places like the Owens Valley would not be developed with wind turbines and the Amargosa region would not be developed with solar power towers. Ask your county to “stay the course” by continuing to support the DRECP without changes.
- The DRECP protects a large swath of CA desert lands, including important plant and animal habitats and diverse recreation areas, from industrial-scale renewable energy development. The DRECP ensured that lands in Inyo County such as Conglomerate Mesa, Panamint Valley and the Amargosa Basin will be preserved and can continue to be enjoyed as they are today.
- The plan supports multiple use recreation, both motorized and non-motorized, through land use designations such as conservation lands and recreation management areas. All of the lands designated in DRECP are open to public access and all existing off-road routes remain open.
- Outdoor tourism on lands the DRECP protects for conservation and recreation are powering our rural desert economies, and the DRECP ensures they will continue to do so by preventing industrial-scale renewable energy development in inappropriate places.
- The DRECP was fully vetted, and represented a compromise for all stakeholders. To open this plan now, when it was never litigated, is a tremendous waste of time and taxpayer dollars, and will cost Inyo County additional money and staff time that can be better spent moving the County forward instead of going backward.
- For those who live in Inyo County and the rest of the desert, preserving the DRECP is about preserving our quality of life –we don’t want to see our beautiful lands inappropriately developed.
- Reopening the DRECP could result in massive development of industrial-scale renewable energy and other development on public lands. Not only is this development not needed to help CA meet its renewable energy needs, it results in great uncertainty for ALL desert residents and users.
- Let’s not throw the plan out without giving it a chance to work!
Visit our National Conservation Lands Page for more background information on the DRECP – the specific lands that it protects as well as the many goals of the plan as a whole.
Thank you for helping in the effort to defend our public lands and public process!