The DRECP is lumbering along. At the Saturday Desert Advisory Council (Oct 15), the new lead for the implementation of the DRECP was introduced. Russ Schofield is returning to the southern California BLM Desert District office to be the lead for implementing DRECP.
So, just what does “implement” mean? To put is in perspective, DRECP is an “overarching framework” that will establish the criteria for future planning efforts under the area of influence of the plan.
DRECP implementation is the first step. It will set criteria for analysis of "site specific" projects.
And, that begins to set the stage for a series of conflicting issues are the “implementation” of DRECP moves forward. Reality and theory are preparing to collide.
Therein lies a conundrum. Webster’s dictionary defines a “conundrum” as 1) a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun; 2) a question or problem having only a conjectural answer; and 3) an intricate and difficult problem.
DRECP defines “disturbance caps” with fixed percentage values. However, the application of the “disturbance caps” are unknown as they are numbers with no relation to reality of what is on the ground.
Currently, there is a WEMO travel planning that is meandering through a long and winding path of bureaucratic and legal obstacles.
WEMO is a site specific project and one to the types of plans destined to be analyzed under the “overarching framework” of DRECP criteria.
Therein lies a conundrum. BLM is just now “planning” on how to “implement” a process to define how “plans” are to be analyzed.
Problem is, WEMO is under court direction which may or may not provide interface with DRECP “guidance”.
So, let’s look at the “disturbance cap” issue. Routes of travel identified under WEMO are being analyzed for their “disturbance cap” impact. DRECP is awaiting the results of the WEMO analysis before applying that to the broader concept of the DRECP controlled planning area.
Now, the “disturbance caps” apply. That is known. But, do the existing routes provide a baseline for which additional disturbance is measured? What is the impact on a proposed renewable energy site “ground disturbance” with respect to routes of travel “ground disturbance”?