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Comment while you can on the reopened DRECP and San Bernardino County RECE

Updated: Mar 20, 2018

Both the reopening of the DRECP and the inclusion of language concerning energy projects in San Bernardino County's RECE, need your comments in March.



With the public scoping meetings for the proposed reopening of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) over (leaving Barstow, Needles, Blythe, and other areas out), time is running out for concerned citizens to have their voices heard on the proposal.

Comments may be submitted until March 22, 2018, to the BLM-California State Director, 2800 Cottage Way, Rm W-1623, Sacramento, CA 95825, or electronically to BLM_CA_DRECP@blm.gov

You may also submit DRECP comments here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/02/02/2018-02098/notice-of-intent-to-amend-the-california-desert-conservation-area-bakersfield-and-bishop-resource.


If you don't have much time to draft your own comments on the proposed reopening of the DRECP, the National Parks Conservation Association makes it easy for you to comment HERE.


For San Bernardino County Residents

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors need to hear from residents about the County's Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE). Mojave Watch urges residents to ask that the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors adopt the original language in the RECE, noted below:

RE Policy 4.10:  Prohibit utility-oriented RE project development on sites that would create adverse impacts on the quality of life or economic development opportunities in existing unincorporated communities.

RE 4.10.1:  Prohibit development of utility-oriented RE projects in the Rural Living Land use districts throughout the County.

RE 4.10.2 Prohibit development of utility- oriented RE projects within the boundaries of existing community plans, which at the time of adoption of this element are the Bloomington, Muscoy, Bear Valley, Crest Forest, Hilltop, Lake Arrowhead, Lytle Creek, Oak Glen, Homestead Valley, Joshua Tree, Lucerne Valley, Morongo Valley, Oak Hills and Phelan/Pinon Hills Community Plan.

RE 4.10.3 Establish exclusion areas in the Development Code regulations for renewable energy development, beginning with the prohibitions in Policies 4.10.1 and 4.10.2 and provide for additional exclusion areas, such as new community plan areas to be designated by amendment to the development code.


Here is a sample letter to copy and paste, courtesy of the Morongo Basin Conservation Association:


San Bernardino County Supervisors

385 North Arrowhead Avenue

San Bernardino, CA 92415

RE: DRECP and San Bernardino County Renewable Energy and Conservation Element

Dear Supervisors Lovingood, Rutherford, Ramos, Hagman and Gonzales:


We are concerned citizens who care deeply about the rural character of San Bernardino County’s unincorporated communities and value our region’s natural resources: land, air, water and wildlife.


San Bernardino County is once again at a crossroads in terms of comprehensive planning for the development of renewable energy. Currently, there are a number of proposed renewable energy projects under the County’s jurisdiction that would fundamentally erode the quality of life in our rural, unincorporated communities. Additionally, the Department of Interior (DOI) has recently decided to amend the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) to provide for more utility scale renewable energy development, while diminishing conservation measures in its Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA).


As citizens we have spent countless hours participating in both the San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy and Conservation (SPARC) process and the DRECP, communicating our concerns about the potential adverse social, recreational, economic and environmental impacts of utility scale renewable energy on our rural, unincorporated communities and public lands.


We believe the County has made some positive steps, but more must be done to protect San Bernardino County residents’ quality of life and our natural resources.


We urge you to act immediately to send Renewable Energy Policy 4.10 and RE 4.10.1, 4.10.2 and 4.10.3 to the Planning Commission and to adopt these measures as they stand as they provide the best means of protection against utility scale renewable energy projects that would fundamentally harm the fabric of our communities. This suite of policies is essential in prohibiting utility scale renewable energy projects under the County’s jurisdiction that would create adverse impacts on our unincorporated communities’ quality of life or economic development.


Additionally, we request you act swiftly to submit a comment during the DRECP scoping period that reflects the values of your constituents and makes it clear to Department of Interior (DOI) that the September 2016 DRECP LUPA Record of Decision should stand as is and there should be no further changes to the allocations of conservation, recreational or renewable energy designations in this comprehensive plan. We firmly believe the County has the right and obligation to comment on this federal process because additional renewable energy development on federal land will have an impact on air quality, water resources, economic development, recreation and the physical health of citizens.


Sincerely,


For more information, we encourage you to visit the MBCA page on this issue:

http://www.mbconservation.org/resources_for_rece_and_drecp_comments

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