The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is a major component of California's renewable energy planning efforts that will help provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of solar, wind and geothermal energy projects.
The DRECP is an innovative, landscape-scale planning effort covering 22.5 million acres in seven California counties - Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
The plan is being prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which manages approximately 10 million acres of public lands in the DRECP area, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Energy Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, collectively known as the Renewable Energy Action Team (REAT).
Based on public comments received on the draft DRECP, the agencies announced in March 2015 that the plan would move forward using a phased approach starting with the BLM component (Phase I) that designates development focus areas (DFAs) conservation areas, and recreation areas on public lands. The phased approach provides additional time and opportunities for the agencies to work with counties and other stakeholders to address issues and concerns related to the non-BLM components of the DRECP (Phase II). It also reflects the need to better align renewable energy development and conservation at the local, state and federal level. The counties—which have local land-use planning and permitting authority—are essential partners in this effort. The agencies are committed to continued cooperation and coordination to achieve the goals of the DRECP. Using a phased approach will result in a plan that is well-tailored to local government priorities and needs, helps California and the nation meet long-term climate change and clean energy goals, and provides for conservation of the desert’s unique and valuable resources.