About the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

What is the DRECP?

DRECP Location

The Desert Renewable Energy and Conservation Plan (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 California Energy Commission, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife collaborated to develop the DRECP across jurisdictional boundaries.

At the interagency level, DRECP is a landscape-scale plan undertaken to achieve two sets of overarching goals:

  • Renewable Energy. The plan identifies specific development focus areas with high quality renewable energy potential and access to transmission in areas where environmental impacts can be managed and mitigated.
  • Conservation. The plan specifies species, ecosystem and climate adaptation requirements for desert wildlife, as well as the protection of recreation, cultural and other desert resources.

BLM is currently implementing the DRECP on BLM Managed Public Lands in the DRECP Plan Area.

How were the DRECP and the DRECP BLM LUPA developed?

Step 3: Final DRECP BLM Land Use Plan Amendment and Record of Decision

The DRECP BLM Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) represents the public-lands component of the DRECP, identifying areas appropriate for renewable energy development, as well as areas important for biological, environmental, cultural, recreation, social, and scenic conservation, consistent with the FLPMA multiple use and sustained yield requirements. While the BLM LUPA only applies to BLM-managed lands, it will serve as a foundation for renewable energy and conservation planning in the desert, which will assist partner agencies in meeting both federal and state climate change and conservation goals.

The BLM Record of Decision (ROD), which approves the final DRECP BLM LUPA, was signed in September 2016.

Step 2: DRECP Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement

In March 2015, following a 152-day public comment period on the Draft DRECP and EIR/EIS, the DRECP partner agencies announced that completion of the plan would follow a phased approach, with the first phase consisting of the BLM LUPA covering over 10 million acres of BLM-managed lands.

The proposed BLM LUPA meets the BLM’s purpose and need, as expressed in the Draft DRECP and EIR/EIS. The Preferred Alternative was refined in continued collaboration with other federal, state, and local agencies, tribal governments, and through public comments on the Draft DRECP EIR/EIS.

The DRECP BLM Proposed LUPA and FEIS were issued in October of 2015.

Step 1: Draft DRECP Environmental Impact Report / Environmental Impact Statement

The Draft DRECP identified Development Focus Areas (DFAs) for renewable energy and a long-term conservation strategy for 37 species that would be affected by renewable energy in the California Desert. The Draft DRECP included five alternatives to achieve the renewable energy and conservation goals of the DRECP partner agencies, which were represented by interagency objectives, as well as individual agencies’ purpose and need within the DRECP Plan Area. These alternatives included three integrated components: a BLM LUPA, which covered BLM-managed public lands, a USFWS General Conservation Plan (GCP), which covered nonfederal, and a CDFW Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP), which covered both federal and nonfederal lands.

The Draft Desert Renewable Energy and Conservation Plan (DRECP) and Joint Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were issued in September 2014.

To learn more, visit www.drecp.org