Ridgecrest Roundtable Notes

October 23, 2014

The meeting began with new Chairman Randy Banis expressing his gratitude for being elected Chairman, and appreciation for the opportunity to work with and help the wonderful people of Ridgecrest and beyond.  Introduction of other elected officials were announced: Ed Waldheim as Vice Chairman, Sam Merk and Jim Kenney as members of Executive Committee. The meeting continued with the introductions and comments.  Ed Waldheim of Friends of Jawbone updated on the trail maintenance and signing in Red Mountain, Jawbone Canyon Dove Springs, and  Randsburg  area. Charlie Hattendorf discussed the improvements and cleanup of Bickel Camp and surrounding sights in El Paso Mountains. Will be removing  trash, painting over graffiti, bleaching and removal of rat nests and such. If interested in participating in a cleanup information can be found on the Facebook  page  Friends of Last Chance Canyon.

After the introductions Carl Symons began BLM reports.  He encouraged people to report any graffiti. The BLM will be doing cultural evaluations of cabins. Inyo County issued a cleanup order for The Keystone mine in the Panamint Mountains and Goler Canyon area. WEMO draft is scheduled to come out in February 2015 and final decision is expected September 30, 2015.

The DRECP (Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan) was the focus of the remaining portion of the meeting. DRECP includes approximately 20 million acres in desert in which it will plan where the best places to sight renewable energy and where to conserve renewable energy.  The Draft DRECP includes: parts of Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties, of California.  Randy explains how to navigate through the draft EIR. Go to: http://drecp.org/ to locate document and a list of meetings can be found. It is encouraged to attend at least 2 meetings to understand the DRECP better. The executive summary is suggested as starting point.  It is an extremely large document that offers a preferred alternative, 4 other alternatives and no action. There is a 90 day comment period. According to the federal register notice that came out 26, 2014.You may submit comments related to the Draft DRECP by any one of the following methods:

Web site: http://drecp.org/;

Email: docket@energy.ca.gov; or

U.S. mail or hand-delivery:

California Energy Commission, Dockets

Office, MS–4, Docket No. 09–RENEW

EO–01, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento,

CA 95814–5512.

The next Ridgecrest Roundtable meeting will be held on December 11, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest BLM Field Office.