Renewable Energy Resources Fee Trust Fund

Senate Bill X8 34 (Padilla) (SB 34), was enacted on March 22, 2010 to facilitate project mitigation actions for certain proposed renewable energy projects in the California desert that are seeking federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. Among other things, the bill authorizes CDFW, in consultation with the California Energy Commission (CEC), U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (collectively the REAT Agencies) to design and implement advanced mitigation actions, including the purchase of land and conservation easements to protect, restore, and enhance the habitat of CESA listed plants and animals.

The Department awards grants through the “SB34 Advance Mitigation Land Acquisition Grant Program,” to third party land trusts and for-profit corporations who then complete the acquisition transactions. The Department holds a perpetual conservation easement on all properties purchased through the grant program for advance mitigation purposes.

Negotiations are continuing with other landowners in the DRECP area while the pace of acquisitions and grant requests is increasing in 2011.