Op-ed: Plan by Trump to throw away years of desert planning

Submitted by Michael Prather

Eight years of collaborative planning time, effort and expense are being swept aside by the recent decision of the U.S. Department of Interior to reopen the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). Broad and balanced stakeholder input and consensus are being disregarded in this ill-advised action. Direct effects on our Inyo County public lands are possible such as loss of land protections, public access and a predictable process for renewable energy development.

Michael Prather

The DRECP effort sought to carefully craft land use planning in a landscape of chaos. Where should renewable energy be placed and where shouldn’t it through planned Development Focus Areas? What lands are important for public access? Which need protection as National Conservation Lands? After years of consensus building and extensive public vetting these lands were designated and thought to be safely protected. Now we learn they are under threat. Furthermore renewable energy developers no longer will have a predictable path for future projects.

The Trump Administration is no friend of renewable energy development. Wind and solar research and development funding has been cut. Fossil fuels, grazing and mining dominate the administration’s public lands policy. Tariffs have been placed on imported solar panels. California, as a leader in renewable energy, will be hurt by amending DRECP. Its voice is not heard by the current Administration.

Here in Inyo County the Board of Supervisors added a renewable energy amendment to their General Plan that reflected large public participation and opinions. Wind farm projects were opposed in the Highway 395 and Highway 190 corridors.

Industrial scale solar was opposed in iconic places like Centennial Flat, Conglomerate Mesa and Deep Springs Valley.

Inyo County Supervisors need to be thanked for their approval of the Renewable Energy Amendment to the General Plan. They supported, in general, the DRECP’s balance of conservation and development designations. Our Supervisors need to be asked to uphold their support for a plan for the desert that protects recreation and natural resources while allowing for appropriate siting of renewable energy.

From 5-7 pm on Monday, Feb 26th at the Film Museum in Lone Pine the BLM will host a public meeting to hear from you. You can also write to BLM at: BLM-California State Director, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1623, Sacramento, CA 95825 or electronically to [email protected].


Michael Prather

Lone Pine, CA

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16 Responses to Op-ed: Plan by Trump to throw away years of desert planning

  1. Tinner February 16, 2018 at 2:11 pm #


    George Carlin – Saving the Planet

    • Trouble February 19, 2018 at 6:54 am #

      What would Russia do?

      • Tinner February 20, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

        They’d drop the puck and play some hockey.

  2. Low-Inyo February 16, 2018 at 8:42 am #

    Phillip…..problem with that is,trump,his cronies and many of his supporters (mostly the rich supporters ) the only thing they really care about is money,money,money,and making the rich richer,with little or no reguard for anyone or anything else…that and his personal vendetta against President Obama and trying to undo anything he did in his 8 years in office.The land is going to suffer,the wildlife is going to suffer (recently the Grizzly Bear taken off the endangered list,thanks to trump and his President Obama vendetta, something he supported and put into place )…and living here in California,we,the people are going to suffer too..trump hates California and has little concern for what Californians want,since he didn’t win this State in 2016,especially after he stated he would make “great,great history ” by doing so….. the next generation are the ones that’s going to suffer the most,humans,wildlife and the environment…I’m 63 years old,don’t have any children,and probably won’t see much of his aftermath,but feel very sorry for those that will….

  3. Philip Anaya February 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm #

    It is well past time for the Donald Trump’s base to begin to clearly understand the damage that is being fostered in the name of making “America Great Again”. Ask any visitor to the Eastern Sierra what they think is great about the Eastern Sierra , the Owens Valley, the Mojave Desert and not one is going to rave about the current industrial scale development as the “best in the west”.
    As Mr. Prather states in this letter ” Eight years of collaborative planning, time, effort and expense are being swept aside” . “Broad and balanced stakeholder input and consensus are being disregarded”…… is this making America great again? While transmission of energy across distances to light up the Cities of So Cal might have been necessary in the past where coal fired plants were adjacent to where energy was produced and the great expense of the power lines and even more costly substations along the way to filter the energy produced to the 60 mega hertz, that was the state of the art at that time . There is still the current industrial solar projects/development where there is the issue of the costly substation energy filtration and the transmission lines are in place or can be up graded as they have done with the Inyo-Rinaldi Line from the Barren Ridge station south. From the abandoned DWP Solar Ranch Project ,the DRECP process, from the rules of the Priority Que List , there was consciousness and the DRECP plan worked out amongst stakeholders, the power generators, the environmental community and everyone in between to designate areas of the California deserts for the industrial scale development and for preservation for future generations .
    While the new Department of Interior initiative to address the DRECP might be acceptable if it was a review, well maybe we should always review decisions but there should be parameters and problems to address a review . To do this for political expediency, to offer the gift of our lands to industrial scale development and for corporate profit and greed is wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    • Charles O. Jones February 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

      DT can have my solar panels when he pries them from my cold dead hands.

    • Mono Person February 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

      I’m not a big Trump fan, but he has been president for only a year…and he is getting blamed.

      • Low-Inyo February 28, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

        Mono Person….That’s because HE is the one that directed this agenda,both now,and saying he would gut environmental policies during his campaign..no one else to blame for it.

  4. Mono native February 15, 2018 at 3:36 pm #

    We need more grazing mines and fossil fuel. Unless you plane on walking in would shoes no rubble as it comes from fossil fuel

    • I get it now February 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm #

      Haha, you are FUNNY Mono native!

    • Rick O'Brien February 16, 2018 at 7:26 pm #

      ????????????????? What is a “Grazing mine ? Would shoes ? Rubble comes from fossil fuel ? I “plane” on reading this again, ’cause the first time , it didn’t make it for me.

    • Dpblue February 17, 2018 at 7:23 am #

      What the… spell much?

  5. Low-Inyo February 15, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

    Buzz…Iv’e got to admit,I had to “google” what ‘MAGA ” meant….and when I hit my mouse button,first thing that popped up was a photo of Nikolas Cruz (the most recent school-shooter in Florida) wearing a red trump” make America great again ” baseball cap posing with the AR-15 he used to kill 17 students and teachers.

    • Buzz Killington February 16, 2018 at 6:37 pm #


  6. Buzz Killington February 14, 2018 at 10:55 am #


    • What it really means February 21, 2018 at 11:27 am #

      MAGA = Mueller Aint Goin Away! lol


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