The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan


The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan #DRECP


map and paintings by Obi Kaufmann, @coyotethunder on instagram, @obikaufmann on twitter, #trailpaintings #fieldatlas

  1. Basin and Range designated Ecoregion Subarea
  2. Panamint Valley Conservation Area
  3. The Mojave Solar Project
  4. West Desert and Eastern Slopes designated Ecoregion Subarea
  5. Pinto Lucerne Valley and Eastern Slopes designated Ecoregion Subarea
  6. Coachella Valley designated Ecoregion Subarea
  7. Lake Cahuilla designated Ecoregion Subarea
  8. Amargosa River Conservation Area
  9. Kingston Amargosa designated Ecoregion Subarea
  10. Mojave and Silurian Valley designated Ecoregion Subarea
  11. South Mojave-Amboy designated Ecoregion Subarea
  12. Piute Valley and Sacramento Mountains designated Ecoregion Subarea
  13. South Amboy Area of Critical Environmental Concern
  14. Solar One and Solar Two Thermal Power Plant
  15. Chemehuevi Solar development lands
  16. Colorado Desert designated Ecoregion Subarea

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), written into law in 2016 is a major component of California’s renewable energy planning efforts and helps to provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of renewable energy projects.

The DRECP is focused on 22.5 million acres in the desert regions and adjacent lands of seven California counties – Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.

Land designation 1: BLM; The Bureau of Land Management manages four different types of reserved land types within this connective network.

  1. Conservation Designations: 4.2 million acres of public lands managed by the BLM are designated as California Desert National Conservation Lands, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, wildlife allocations, and National Scenic and Historic Trail management corridors to conserve biological, cultural and other values.
  2. Recreation Designations: 3.5 million acres of public lands managed by the BLM are designated as Special Recreation Management Areas and Extensive Recreation Management Areas to recognize a range of recreational across the desert lands of Southern California.
  3. Variance Designations: 40,000 acres of public lands managed by the BLM are potentially available for renewable energy development.
  4. General Public Lands: 400,000 acres of public lands managed by the BLM are not covered by any of the above designations, although the DRECP creates new management prescriptions for these lands.

Land designation 2: NPS; Major Parks, Monuments and Reserves managed by the National Park Service in the desert include Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park. The newly designated Sand to Snow National Monument, Mojave Trails National Monument and the Castle Mountains National Monument are managed by the BLM.

Land designation 3: Military; China Lake Naval Weapons Station, Fort Irwin Training Center, 29 Palms Marine Reserve, Edwards Air Force Base and Chocolate Mountains Artillery Range remain with slight augmentation to China Lake in the Coso Valley.

Land designation 4: Protected; Legislatively and legally protected areas include of 70 designated areas, among them Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Conservation Areas and the largest single designation by land area: Federal Wilderness.

Land designation 5: Energy; the DRECP budgets for the reservation of 388,000 dedicated acres of public lands available for solar, wind, and geothermal development.


gila woodpecker by Obi Kaufmann