Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Site Survey Analyst

Jun 25, 2015 (Last modified May 12, 2021)
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Web-based decision support tool created for developers, regulatory agencies, and conservation planners

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Site Survey Analyst is a web-based decision support tool designed to provide users with (A) baseline biological and ecological information about a user-defined area of interest, (B) information regarding the covered species and natural communities that may occur in the area, and (C) detailed Conservation and Management Actions (CMAs) that would be required at that location for each covered element found at the site in order to help mitigate the impacts of renewable energy development. The DRECP Site Survey Analyst Tool was created for developers, regulatory agencies, and conservation planners.

Once the tool is accessed, users simply define an area or select a location by drawing a shape within the DRECP planning area. With a click of a button, the tool automatically generates a summary on the following multiple, relevant topics.

(A) Baseline Information

Within the user defined area, the tool reports on the existing level of human impact on the landscape (based on factors such as urban development and fragmentation), as well as the conservation value of the land (based on factors such as species diversity and linkage quality). Additional baseline information such as soil sensitivity and physical refugia are also provided, as well as a list of the covered species and covered plant communities that may be present within the selected area (based on modeled distributions). All four metrics were created using EEMS (Environmental Evaluation Modeling System) logic modeling.

Below the histogram results are the top level of the tree- based EEMS models. To learn more about the EEMS model, you can read a Guide and Case Study or watch the “What is EEMS?” video. Users can click a node in the diagram below the bar graph to map the model component. Users can also explore the complete set of data inputs used to create the model by clicking on the Data Basin logo.

Model results for the selected area can be shown as mean, minimum or maximum. After an area is selected within the map, the Site Survey Analyst defines the designations and ownership of any of the selected polygons.

(B) Covered Species and Natural Communities Information

Below the Site Survey Analyst map and displayed in separate tabs, is information about covered species and covered natural communities potentially present within the selected area. Clicking a covered species or covered community image shows the modeled species distribution or community distribution within the map. Datasets of each community can be downloaded from the DRECP Gateway by clicking the Data Basin icon in the upper right corner of each image.

(C) Conservation Management Action Requirements

For each potential covered species and covered natural community within an area of interest, the Site Survey Analyst provides users with the Conservation and Management Actions (CMAs) that would be required for renewable energy development projects undertaken at that location based on the covered species and plant communities present and land ownership (BLM versus other ownership).

All results for each site selection can be downloaded and saved as a PDF.

Conservation Biology Institute. 2015. Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Site Survey Analyst. In: Data Basin. [First published in Data Basin on Jun 25, 2015; Last Modified on May 12, 2021; Retrieved on Jan 30, 2023] <>

About the Author

Conservation Biology Institute

The Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) provides scientific expertise to support the conservation and recovery of biological diversity in its natural state through applied research, education, planning, and community service.