10:48 PM

New Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Released


September 23, 2014

Contact: Courtney Sexton, 202.772.0253, csexton@defenders.org


New Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Released

California desert plan could be key to conservation-guided clean energy future

SACRAMENTO— Today Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the release of a draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The DRECP is a landmark joint planning effort involving local, state and federal government lands and agencies. Its purpose is to identify lands most appropriate for renewable energy development while conserving areas important for wildlife, wilderness, recreation and other values across the California desert. The DRECP covers 22.5 million acres of public and private land in the desert regions and will identify 200,000 to 350,000 acres as development focus areas, enough to meet California renewable energy goals through 2040.

The following is a statement from Kim Delfino, Director of California Programs, Defenders of Wildlife:

“As our state and national leaders meet in New York to discuss the impacts of climate change, here in California we are leading the way on conservation-minded renewable energy innovation. Through the DRECP, we have a unique opportunity to forge ahead with clean renewable energy planning, while simultaneously ensuring that our natural heritage, wildlife and desert communities, and ecosystems are preserved far into the future.

“The release of this draft is the first step toward further engaging counties, desert communities, elected officials, renewable energy companies, conservation organizations, recreational users and other stakeholders to weigh in on what a final DRECP should look like, in shaping the vision for renewable energy in our California deserts, and across the country.

“Undoubtedly the desert has a role to play in our clean energy future, but this does not mean putting our land, wildlife and natural heritage at risk. A DRECP done right will be a win-win – balancing the needs of desert conservation with those of responsible renewable energy development.”

The DRECP draft can be found online: http://www.drecp.org/draftdrecp/


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.