Energy Conservation Plan
Biden Administration Restores the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Protecting 2 million acres of National Conservation Land.
In his term’s 11th hour, then-President Donald Trump took aim at the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and began a rollback of key conservation protections in the framework that aims to balance clean energy and conservation on federal land in the Southern California desert. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s administration announced it will halt that action, leaving the original plan intact.
The proposed changes would have resulted in a nearly 2 million-acre reduction in lands designated as “areas of critical environmental concern.” They also would have modified or eliminated 68 “conservation and management actions,” which set rules for development in the desert.
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan represents an unprecedented partnership between the federal government, the state of California, and local citizen stakeholders to balance our country’s equally important goals of facilitating renewable energy while ensuring that lands in California’s deserts are set aside for conservation and recreation. With the plan’s integrity intact, we can now focus on the implementation of the DRECP and protecting our beloved California Desert for generations to come.
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, or DRECP, is a land use plan designed to allow renewable energy development on least conflict public lands, and balance that with conservation and recreation on public land. The plans covers over 22.5 million acres of the California desert. This plan, finalized in 2016, is the result of over 8 years of collaborative planning by a diverse range of stakeholders throughout the state. The DRECP process can permanently protect California’s diverse and unique desert communities while siting renewable energy projects in the most appropriate locations.
The DRECP was one of our region’s most important achievements. The final plan struck a balance between the interests of industry, conservationists, recreationalists, government, and local residents. The effort to reopen the plan shows disrespect to hundreds of thousands of people who worked to achieve that balance, and threatens areas that Desert residents love.
The DRECP protected 6.5 million acres of the Desert’s most sensitive natural and cultural landscapes and designated 3.6 million acres for recreation, such as hiking, camping, rockhounding, and off-road recreation. Development would destroy these lands and reduce opportunities for local residents to enjoy them. Preserving the DRECP is about preserving our quality of life – Desert residents don’t want to see these places inappropriately developed.
Friends of the Inyo is hard at work, educating the public on the DRECP and how it benefits the lands we love. With the Biden Administration assuring the integrity of the plan, Friends of the Inyo and local stakeholders will focus on implementation and protecting the National Conservation Lands established by the DRECP. Many National Conservation Land sites like Conglomerate Mesa and Panamint Valley are still threatened by inappropriate development. Friends of the Inyo will be there every step of the way to protect these landscapes we all love.
Tribal Nations speak out on Conglomerate Mesa–Friends of the Inyo stands in support Friends of the Inyo stands in support as Tribal Nations call out K2 Gold for ignoring their consultation and request to stop mining at Conglomerate Mesa. Read the Timbisha Shoshone and Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribes’ press release below. “Mining Company Threatens Tribal Resources in California Desert” Click here to read the official press release.
Changes to Desert Plan by Trump administration threaten California Desert Proposed rollbacks to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan threaten 2.2 million acres of precious California Desert lands *UPDATE: Biden Administration Restores the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Protecting 2 million acres of National Conservation Land. Click here to read more in our press release. “The Trump Administration continues its assault on public lands with an eleventh-hour attempt to gut the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). These egregious proposed changes to a balanced and comprehensive desert plan that was nearly ten years in the making will strip meaningful…
We Need Your Help: Imminent Threat to Conglomerate Mesa *Update: Double your donation An anonymous donor has offered to match the next $10,000 in donations. Your donation will be doubled and your support will go twice as far. Click the image above or scroll to the bottom of the page to make a donation today. The Threat We’ve Been Watching For is Here. A Canadian mining company, K2 Gold, recently took over the Conglomerate Mesa gold exploration plan. Although helicopter access at seven drill sites is currently permitted, K2 clearly has bigger plans. They have now proposed drilling 30 additional sites…