In case you haven't heard about this before, the Desert Renewable Energy and Conservation Plan [DRECP] is a desert-wide, multi-agency project to provide landscape-level [ecosystem]conservation of covered plant and animal species and identify potentially appropriate sites for renewable energy [RE] projects. The plan area covers 22 million acres, from Mexico to Bishop, Lancaster to the Colorado River. Maps are available on their website, drecp.org.
This project has been in the preliminary phases for five years now, and the lead agencies [BLM, USFWS, CDFW, CEC] finally released their first formal environmental document, a Draft Environmental Impact Statement [DEIS] last week. It is 13,000 pages long! The lead agencies have put together a webinar to help the public navigate the document and the maps. The date for the initial presentation of the webinar is October 9.
You can view it online[or participate by telephone] by following the instructions here:
The webinar will also be hosted in agency buildings throughout the planning area. The list is here:
In addition, the agencies will be hosting public workshops in the second half of October and the beginning of November. The purpose of the workshops is to further help members of the public navigate the documents and maps, as well as to take in public comments, both in written form and orally [which will be officially transcribed]
The list of the workshop dates and places is here:
As of the date of my initial posting here, the government has indicated that the public comment period will end on January 6. In my new role representing the Public at Large on the BLM's Desert Advisory Council I, along with the rest of the Council have formally requested the BLM to extend the comment period to 180 days from the initial posting of the DEIS. We feel this is commensurate to the size of the planning effort and the complexity of the documents.
I don't claim to be an expert on the plan, but if I can answer questions, I will try. I hope you can make the time to make informed, useful comments on issues raised by the plan; the agencies and the public are counting on it.