CalWEA Comments on BLM Notice of Intent to Amend the DRECP

March 22, 2018
CalWEA Map 1 -  High-Quality Wind Resource Areas, DFAs and Variance Lands in the DRECP

CalWEA today submitted comments on the BLM's Notice of Intent to amend its Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.  CalWEA welcomed the review, given the 2016 DRECP’s unreasonable exclusion of wind energy development on BLM lands in California.  

The DRECP put approximately 96% of the high-quality wind resources on BLM land permanently put off limits to wind energy development.  Only 78,779 acres (4%) of the 2.1 million acres of high-quality wind resource areas that were previously available for potential development on BLM land remained available under the DRECP, as depicted in the accompanying map.  These 78,779 acres – which comprise less than 1% of BLM land in the DRECP area – compare to 3.6 million acres (about 36% of BLM DRECP land) designated for recreational activities – of which approximately 1.5 million acres are accessible to off-highway vehicles and/or 4x4s, and almost 5 million acres (nearly 50% of all BLM DRECP land) designated for conservation.  The acreage accessible to OHVs/4x4s represents about 14% of all BLM DRECP land – over 14 times the amount of DFA land containing high-quality wind resources. 

CalWEA encouraged the BLM to include the expansion of DFAs to all high-quality wind resource areas for exploration and potential wind energy development, subject to site-specific studies to determine compatibility with conservation, recreation, and other BLM multiple-use goals.