AB 982 Update – AB 982, which became law in 2011, directed the State Lands Commission and the Department of the Interior to enter into a MOA, Memorandum of Agreement, designed to facilitate land exchanges to consolidate State school land parcels consistent with renewable energy development of the DRECP, Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.
School Lands Commission generated $9.9 million in revenue for CalSTRS
CSLC staff provided input into the draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report that will guide land exchanges between the State and the Bureau of Land Management for the purpose of protecting valuable biological and cultural resources in the desert while paving the way for renewable energy development. This initiative was enacted, in part, to facilitate the Governor’s desire to achieve 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. During fiscal year 2013–14, staff continued efforts to support the DRECP planning process by maintaining a GIS database of land ownership, mineral resources, biological resources, historical resources, and renewable energy resources and providing comments relative to mineral potential and value. MRMD staff provided preliminary comments on the administrative draft of the DRECP document that is slated for public release in the summer of 2014. Under the established MOA, the CSLC had previously provided a complete list of school lands it would be willing to exchange that are within the geographic boundaries of the DRECP. During the fiscal year 2013–14, a preliminary list of State school land parcels were requested by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the exchange for implementation of the DRECP. This list of parcels was compiled and submitted because they were located primarily in BLM managed Wilderness Areas that are highly desired for acquisition. BLM requested approximately 68,139 acres. MRMD mineral staff evaluated these and found that roughly 60 percent of the requested parcels by BLM were deemed to be of low mineral potential and available for exchange for alternative energy lands.
The majority of the in-office research regarding the mineral potential of fee-owned school land parcels was conducted using GIS software, geologic reports, and other data provided publicly through the USGS, California Geological Survey, and the BLM.