The BLM is considering the expansion and permitting of leases in the Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area in southern Inyo County. The projects preferred action proposes an expansion of the leasing area in multiple Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and in California Desert National Conservation Land.
Friends of the Inyo submitted comments on the project, opposing expansion on ACEC and California Desert National Conservation Land and supporting development within designated “Development Focus Areas”. Comments were due August 1st. We are waiting for the BLM’s decision now.
There are a number of ACECs near the Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area that would be impacted by the preferred alternative, including the Ayers Rock ACEC and Mohave Ground Squirrel ACEC. These areas provide protection of Native American pictographs, Mohave Ground Squirrel habitat and much more.
The Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area is a piece of land directly impacted by the DRECP. The DRECP was made over a span of 8 years and included highly collaborative decision making from an extremely diverse group of stakeholders. Friends of the Inyo honors the commitments and decisions reflected in the plan. This is a large reason why we support the project within the Development Focus Area and oppose it within ACEC and CDNCL land.
Friends of the Inyo submitted comments on this project in August 2019. We will continue to support the designations provided by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. This includes Develop Focus Areas, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, and California Desert National Conservation Land. Stay tuned for a decision from the BLM.
Haiwee Geothermal Development Update In January 2020 the BLM released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for a project that will expand the Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area to 22,805 acres, almost triple in size. With this growth, BLM will change the management provisions of National Conservation Lands and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern to allow for geothermal energy production, infringing on Mojave ground squirrel populations, sacred tribal sites, desert tortoise land and more. Part of the leasing area is proposed to expand into a Development Focus Area (DFA) which was established by the DRECP. Friends of the Inyo is pushing…