Showing posts from September, 2016

What to Watch For in the DRECP Announcement

The Secretary of Interior on Wednesday will finalize the Federal portion of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan ( DRECP ) after years of effort by Federal, State, and local agencies to identify which lands will be conserved for future generations, and which lands will be zoned for utility-scale renewable energy projects. Interior released the final environmental analysis for the plan in November 2015 .  Wednesday's roll out of a Record of Decision normally would constitute a rubber stamp approval of that analysis and officially put the plan into effect, but there are indications that Interior has tinkered further with the plan.  Here are some things to look for in the announcement, broken down by different stakeholders calls for changes to the plan: Not Enough Destruction Zones: The renewable energy industry has loudly complained that the 600+ square miles of new industrial zones – known as Development Focus Areas (DFA) – that the DRECP is expected to designa

Air Force May Reduce Public Access in Nevada Wildlife Refuge

The Department of the Air Force is proposing to withdrawal an additional 301,507 acres (approximately 471 square miles) of public land to expand the already-massive Nevada Test and Training Range.  The proposed withdraw will likely involve restricting public access and degrading important wildlife habitat, including lands in the  Desert National Wildlife Refuge  near Las Vegas, and also parcels in the upper Amargosa Valley north of Beatty, Nevada (see map below).   This effort is separate from proposed legislation currently sitting in Congress that would withdrawal even more land from the Refuge. Morning rain showers obscure the Sheep Range in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.  The Air Force is proposing to withdrawal hundreds of square miles of additional desert wildlands on the Refuge and elsewhere in southern Nevada to reserve for training activities. The Air Force is in the initial stages of its environmental review process, and will be sharing more details about its pla