TO: United States Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has achieved a great milestone in establishing the California Desert National Conservation Lands through the Desert Renewable Energy and Conservation Plan (DRECP). The preservation of these lands for future generations is a vital component of this innovative plan to ensure balanced conservation and renewable energy development, crafted with the engagement of federal, state, local and industry stakeholders. With this, BLM stands to lead the way in forward-thinking holistic management of our public lands.
I urge you to continue to demonstrate your commitment, and fulfill your mandated responsibility, to effectively managing and caring for these special places by ensuring that they are permanently protected from threats to their scenic, ecological, and cultural values. To that end, BLM should establish legal definitions for the California Desert National Conservation Lands, and develop and implement appropriate step-down plan elements and travel management so that the Lands’ conservation values are safeguarded and the public is able to reasonably identify, access, and appreciate these places. I also strongly encourage BLM to uphold the standards of protection for all National Conservation Lands and pursue opportunities to reduce corporate mining on these lands, which results in detrimental, landscape-level impacts and harms public access to these natural areas.
In order to ensure these new National Conservation Lands live up to their name and remain as natural, open, and undeveloped as possible for future generations, I support robust conservation management and permanent protection of the California Desert National Conservation Lands.
Thank you for your leadership in protecting these irreplaceable pieces of the California desert.