Two important public hearings coming up on desert conservation plan

If you're in Bakersfield or Palm Desert in the next couple of days, we could use your voice in defense of desert conservation.

Burrowing Owls. Photo: Diane Hamilton

We need your help in turning back a new effort to overturn a landmark agreement to protect California’s desert ecosystems. The federal administration wants to gut protections for millions of acres of recreation and conservation lands in the California desert by suddenly reopening a plan developed with more than years of public engagement from people throughout the desert.

If you are able, please attend a public meeting being held where Bureau of Land Management officials will present their ideas and take comments from the public. Three upcoming meetings might be of interest to you:

Tuesday, March 6, from 5 to 7 p.m..
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield CA 93308

Wednesday, March 7, from 5 to 7 p.m.
UC Riverside, Palm Desert Center, Auditorium
75080 Frank Sinatra Dr., Palm Desert 92211

Tell the administration to listen to the people who've already spoken and keep the plan as it is. The government should be implementing this plan not second-guessing it.

Audubon California has been a leading supporter of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which was developed over eight years with substantial scientific input and extensive participation by desert residents. The plan allocated lots of lands for renewable energy development while setting aside the region’s most significant conservation and recreation lands. Birds in this protected land include Southwester Willow Flycatchers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Burrowing Owls, Red-Tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons and many more. This land is also crucial habitat for desert tortoises.

Audubon California will be submitting formal comments on the plan in the coming weeks, but your voice and presence at these meetings can help make a big difference.

How you can help, right now