Los Angeles | September 23, 2014 — The Department of Interior and the California Department of Natural Resources released a first-of-its-kind plan for conservation and renewable energy development in the California desert.
The draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is a combined state and federal effort – including collaborations between the Bureau of Land Management, the California Energy Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – and the result of a public process that the Natural Resources Defense Council, fellow conservation groups, renewable energy companies and other stakeholders have been engaged in for more than four years.
The draft of the long-awaited DRECP is an unprecedented opportunity to provide a framework for “smart from the start” planning efforts that guide renewable energy development to areas with low environmental and wildlife risk, and conserve the desert’s wildlife, wilderness and treasures landscapes.
Following is a statement by the Director of NRDC’s Western Renewable Energy Project Helen O’Shea:
“This process has set an important and useful precedent, and we look forward to reviewing the document. If designed and administered correctly, this landmark effort can provide a blueprint for responsible renewable energy development while safeguarding the desert’s special places and species. And it can play a critical role in our efforts to fight climate change and develop a sustainable clean energy future.”