As you might recall, the Department of Interior published a Federal Register Notice in February 2018 that sought comments on its intent to amend the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, just 16 months after the Plan’s Record of Decision was signed.
We have continued to hear since February 2018, that the California Bureau of Land Management has been working on this amendment, but the anticipated release date has been delayed numerous times. The latest information is that we should expect something (perhaps a scoping report and draft plan amendment) in December 2019. The comment period on the draft plan is likely to overlap with the holidays, which may unfortunately decrease the amount of public participation in the process.
It is extremely likely that this proposed plan amendment will eliminate much, if not most of the conservation aspects of the Plan and make much more of the desert available for large-scale industrial mining. CalWild, our partners in the desert, and at state to ensure the years of negotiations and on-the-ground work that resulted in an unprecedented compromise including millions of acres for conservation.