Balancing conservation and renewable-energy needs in a vast state like California is no easy task -- and the new draft of the state's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan isn't up to that task. It fails to comply with key laws, including the Endangered Species Act.
The failures could be remedied though through several important steps including more clearly identifying the conservation commitments still needed to offset development impacts and providing baseline data to evaluate how any changes on the ground would affect imperiled plants and animals.
The plan must also be laid out in much clearer terms and greater detail. Where will funding come from, for instance, to ensure conservation obligations are met well into the future? And how do the planners reconcile locking in ORV use for decades on lands already designated as critical to wildlife?
February 21, 2015 Action Alert ID# 184
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