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San Diego Mineral & Gem Society Press Room

  

 

What is the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan?
(DRECP)

Land usage encompassing 22.5 million acres of California's deserts will be administered according to DRECP guidelines for the next 25 years.  The plan makes a mosaic of the desert, with Development Focus Areas (DFAs) designated for private industry to build utility-scale energy projects adjacent to public lands or on 177,000 acres of BLM-administered public lands.  DRECP's implementation will pave the way for large industrial developments to be connected to the power grid via power transmission corridors running through fragile ecosystems and pristine natural landscapes on public lands.

BLM needs to know your concerns about preserving the desert environment.  BLM needs to know about the specific areas for which recreational uses or conservation concerns are important to you.

The comment period for the DRECP, which closes on February 23rd, provides opportunity for the public to influence provisions that determine the destiny of our public lands.

Comments are needed NOW on the DRECP.  There are several things you can do (and they're all pretty easy) –

 

Six things you can do:

1.  Comment directly to the DRECP at:

http://www.drecp.org/about/contact.html#comments
(Tips on writing an effective letter »)

 

2.  Take SDMG's Survey

San Diego Mineral & Gem Society online Survey
Final Deadline: Feb 15, 2015

 

3–5.  Sign on to letters and petitions
that will improve the DRECP
and the public comment process

Sign the Alliance for Desert Preservation Letter
asking the CEC
to restart the comment period and extend it

 

Sign the Garmon Petition:
We don't have to sacrifice California's deserts
for renewable energy!

 

Sign the Basin and Range Watch Letter
proposing a new alternative distributed energy plan

 

6.  Hit the grapevine and help get the word out

Download, cross-post – print
and tweet:
#drecp
#ghostsofthedesert
@SaveTheDesert
@Desertpreserve #a4dp
@noonwindmills #noonwindmills
#solar #GoSolar #SupportSolar
#windfarms

 

 

 

 

 

BLM - DRECP – Resources
downloadable, ready to cross-post & print
DRECP Comment period deadline: February 23, 2015

 

The BLM-DRECP needs to hear from rockhounds and anyone who cares about preserving the California desert, otherwise we may become #ghostsofthedesert. Help yourself to the web collateral and print-ready files found here.  It's all aimed at getting the word out about the DRECP and making the issues surrounding this hugely complicated document a little bit more intelligible.  The collateral provides useful resources on how to take action – there is a lot you can do, and it's pretty easy to do (see box at right: Six things you can do).  Remember, the comment period ends February 23, 2015. 

If you are willing to post a banner on your website to the SDMG's BLM-DRECP web pages, articles, brochures or posters, please contact info@sdmg.org and put DRECP in your subject line.

Share the website link to the article, "Storm clouds gather over the California desert".

http://www.sdmg.org/articles/201501/storm-clouds-gather-over-the-California-desert/

Download/share the print-friendly article.

Storm clouds gather over the California desert

 

DIY (do it yourself) print-ready brochure.

5.25" x 8.5" bi-fold SDMG-DRECP brochure: Coming Soon to public lands near you (Prints on 8.5" x 11" paper, 2 sides.)

DIY print-ready posters.

11" x 14" DRECP Poster – We don't need to sacrifice the California desert for renewable energy

 

12" x 18" DRECP 2-sided Poster – We don't need to sacrifice the California desert for renewable energy (below left)

 

12" x 18" DRECP 2-sided Poster: Coming Soon… to public lands near you (below right)

 

DRECP poster - We don't need to sacrifice the California desert for renewable energy DRECP bifold brochure - Coming Soon to your public lands

 

 

Print-on-Demand – order from the SDMG news stand on HP's Magcloud, get it in 3 days.

5.25" x 8.5" Brochure: Coming Soon… to public lands near you. Bi-fold, 80# card stock, $0.64 (20 units or more @ $0.48)

 

Coming Soon to public lands near you
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) closes thousands of acres of public lands to recreational use and industrializes California's fragile desert ecosystem and its last wilderness areas. Tell the DRECP YES to preserving our public lands and NO to utility-scale projects that will fence us out of collecting areas. Public comment period ends 2/23/2015. Learn more at blm.sdmg.org

 

12" x 18" Poster: Wind turbines, 2-sided, $2.00 (20 units or more @ $1.50)

 

Tell DRECP "We don't need to sacrifice the California desert for renewable energy."
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) closes thousands of acres of public lands to recreational use and industrializes California's fragile desert ecosystem and its last wilderness areas. Tell the DRECP YES to preserving our public lands and NO to utility-scale projects that will fence rockhounds out of collecting areas. Public comment period ends 2/23/2015. Learn more at blm.sdmg.org

 

12" x 18" Poster: Coming Soon… to public lands near you, 2-sided, $2.00 (20 units or more @ $1.50)

 

Coming Soon to public lands near you
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) closes thousands of acres of public lands to recreational use and industrializes California's fragile desert ecosystem and its last wilderness areas. Tell the DRECP YES to preserving our public lands and NO to utility-scale projects that will fence us out of collecting areas. Public comment period ends 2/23/2015. Learn more at blm.sdmg.org

 

 

Writing a comment letter (for rockhounds)

(Your letter will have more impact if you write in your own voice, rather than copying/pasting blocks of text that others will also copy/paste. Below are some remarks about federal designations, which are important to include in a comment letter. NLCS designation usually precludes certain recreational activities, including rockhounding; however, the designation affords protected status in the future. Therefore, it is important to stress that supporting management objectives under NCLS for these lands is desirable but should specifically allow rockhounding/collecting. Remarks on some specific collecting areas are included below.)

I strongly support conservation designations that would protect the natural character of California's desert landscapes and offer enduring protection of desert wildlife, habitat, and previously untouched wild areas that rockhounds appreciate. Such designations include new areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC), National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS), and Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMA).

I recommend that ACEC and NLCS management objectives should explicitly specify that rockhounding is an acceptable/compatible activity for such designations to ensure access and use in the future. In addition, Special Recreation Permits for rockhounding should be identified as a compatible use in the management objectives for the NLCS lands.

The BLM should ensure that open routes are maintained through Development Focus Areas (DFAs) and that development activity does not impede access to surrounding recreation lands or rockhounding.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) should be revised to remove or at least reduce the amount of Development Focus Areas (DFAs), because the DRECP overestimates the amount of land necessary to meet renewable energy goals and underestimates the potential to meet these goals with distributed generation such as rooftop solar.

The "Future Assessment Area" designations in the Cadiz Valley should be removed, and the areas should be included as NLCS to protect the natural setting of the desert for enjoyment of unconfined recreation, and to be consistent with the objective of managing the Route 66 corridor to protect the relatively undisturbed viewshed.

The BLM should ensure that no development blocks open route access to the Gem Hill rockhounding area, which is surrounded by DFA.

The BLM should ensure that no development blocks open route access to the Stoddard Wells rockhounding area in the vicinity of Sidewinder Ridge, west of the Lucerne Valley Cutoff Road.

The Pisgah and Hector Hills area should be protected with NLCS designation because of its importance to a variety of desert wildlife and unique geological qualities, including the Pisgah lava flow.

DFA designations should be removed from lands in the Rainbow Rock area west of State Route 86 in Imperial County. DFA status would be inconsistent with protecting the natural setting of the area that is important to visitors seeking dispersed and unconfined recreation opportunities in the Ocotillo Wells and Anza-Borrego area.

More tools for rockhounds…

ALAA Report.  The American Lands Access Association commissioned a study specifically about access to collecting areas that might be adversely impacted by the DRECP.  The report examines 41 gem-mineral collecting areas; includes summary, maps and appendices.  www.amlands.org/390834.html

Maps are effective, so reinforce your comments with maps.  Use the DRECP map tool online: http://drecp.databasin.org

 

 

 

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