California Native Plant Society

Current Conservation Issues

Defend California's Deserts | Leave the DRECP Alone

Castle Mountains. Credit Duncan Bell.
Castle Mountains. Credit Duncan Bell.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), which was finalized in 2016, provided historic conservation gains for public lands in California and provided a precedent-setting blueprint for how to balance renewable energy development with conservation on our nation's public lands. Local stakeholders, as well as thousands of citizens from throughout California and across the country, provided input over an 8-year process to shape the final plan.

But, on February 2nd, the Department of Interior issued a notice to re-open the plan, potentially putting at risk 6 million acres of vital conservation lands, such as the Silurian Valley, Centennial Flats, Mayan Peak, and Chuckwalla Bench as well as the iconic plant and animal species that make their home in the desert, including the Joshua Tree, wildflower superblooms, bighorn sheep, microphyll woodlands, the Mohave ground squirrel, desert tortoises, and Gila monsters.


CNPS is asking members to speak up for our desert lands and the unique native flora of these landscapes. We need you to let BLM and your Board of Supervisor members know that Californians want DOI to leave the DRECP alone, that reopening this plan will jeopardize the desert we cherish. It's important that both the BLM and local counties know your wishes. Here's what to do:

  • Attend a Local Meeting
    The BLM is hosting a series of meetings through the end of March. Find one near you (pdf) and make your voice heard.
  • Write the BLM
    Use our sample language (pdf) or talking points (pdf) to craft your message.
  • Write Your Local Supervisor
    This step is especially critical if you're in an affected county: Kern, Inyo, Riverside, San Bernardino. Look up your supervisor here (pdf) and use our sample language (pdf)to get you started.

Note: This is a fast-moving issue, so be sure to follow CNPS on Facebook and/or Twitter for updates.


Help us Distribute Postcards

Postcard: We love our desert!

CNPS is giving out postcards (pdf 15MB) for people to send to their supervisors and the BLM. We need your help to distribute these to others through your chapters, at universities, and in the community. If you can help, please contact us at to request a packet.


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