Ridgecrest Roundtable

January 23, 2014


Don Jo McKernan chaired the meeting to. During Introductions and comments Mark requested information to be given regarding the Laurel Wind Project. This information shall be addressed a little later during the meeting. Randy Banis announced the DAC meetings for March 14 and 15, 2014 in Palm Springs, CA. With a field trip on Friday the 14th. Topic is to be DRECP, specifically public involvement. DRECP is Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Lori Acton of Ridgecrest City Council mentioned the Planning Commission meeting in Bakersfield regarding the Fremont Valley Preservation project.   Commented that the city had given their concerns to the man responsible for Aqua Helio, Larry Moxley.


The meeting continued with Dana Jacobs Outdoor Recreation Planner for BLM with an update on the OHV Grant Program. The grant cycle began on January 13, 2014. The BLM will be putting in for 3 grants: Law Enforcement, Restoration, and Ground Operations. An open house will be held at Ridgecrest BLM field office on February 6, 2014 at 6:30-8:30pm to allow public input and opinions of restoration and ground operations. Preliminary Grant due March 3 and public comment period will be March 4 thru April 7.


Guest Speaker Randy Porter, geologist for BLM on the subject of recent mining projects. Began with a list of a few projects and little about each one:


Great Bear Mining has proposed to build 7 drill sites in Conglomerate Mesa. This action will require an EA.

Glacial Minerals proposed a drilling project for Placer gold in Last Chance Canyon. An EA is currently being done.

KAT Bentonite Mining Plan EA - Proposed Clay Mine in Summit Range.


For more information on these projects and others contact Randall Porter at BLM field office in Ridgecrest, (760) 384-5452 or email at rporter@blm.gov.


Robert filled in for Carl and delivered the BLM reports. He first addressed L H Renewables out of Redlands, Ca. which is a proponent for Laurel Wind Project, including 45-50 square miles running North of Red Rock Canyon State Park down Highway 14 all the way to just North of Inyokern. They are proposing approx. 130 wind turbines. The status of that proposal is now forfeited due to a finding by California that they are not authorized to do business in California. However they do have 30 days from 13th of January 2014 to clarify their status and must provide proof that L. H. Renewables is authorized to do business in California.


DRECP admin draft will be expected out on Feb. 17, 2014 for in house specialist review. More information will be available at next meeting.


Wild horse and burro program update regarding the incident in middle of November when horses died for unknown causes. Many tests and diagnostics were conducted with no possible reasons determined. Was not contagious disease or due to bad hay.  BLM is still standing down on all gathers.