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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

James G. Kenna State Director BLM California/KAREN DOUGLAS

Are guests on the radio show tomorrow as we go live from 1-2p, EST.  Here's background on them and the intriguing project they are working on to put protected land back into the economy, in this case, dessert land in CA, by installing renewable energy while protecting wildlife.  This is a great example of the work being done under our new federal mandates to grow commerce while protecting natural resources of all types.

James Kenna, the State Director for California, began his Federal career as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service in Prescott, Arizona.  Through his career, he has been involved in all facets of the BLM's multiple-use management mission.

Prior to becoming California State Director, Kenna served in numerous key agency positions, including Associate State Director in Oregon, Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning in Washington, D.C., Budget Analyst for the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., and Field Manager of the BLM’s Palm Springs Field Office in California.  He was the BLM’s Arizona State Director from January 2009 to September 2011.

While working in the Federal government, Kenna has contributed his leadership and planning skills to many important initiatives and conservation efforts.  He provided his leadership in establishing Service First and Stewardship Contracting initiatives and in coordinating Federal, state and local land use planning processes balancing community needs, water rights and conservation of multiple species in southern California.

During his time as Palm Springs Field Manager, he worked with communities and tribes leading to the establishment of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, and worked with the Border Area Fire Council in San Diego to address international border security, fire response, public safety and ecological issues.  He also coordinated a national conservation strategy for sagebrush habitats with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Western Governors Association.

Most recently, he has led the state's efforts at renewable energy development and developed a partnership with California state agencies to coordinate and streamline management of important resources on the coast.


Karen Douglas was originally appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in February 2008 and re-appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in December 2012. She served as Chair from February 2009 to February 2011.  She fills the Attorney position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas—engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.  Commissioner Douglas is the lead commissioner on power plant siting (including the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan) and federal stimulus programs.

From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Douglas served as Director of the California Climate Initiative at the Environmental Defense Fund. Prior to going to the Environmental Defense Fund, Ms. Douglas spent four years at the Planning and Conservation League as the Natural Resources Director, General Counsel, and most recently, acting Executive Director.

Commissioner Douglas is a 2001 graduate of the Stanford Law School and holds a Master’s Degree in public policy from the University of Colorado, Boulder.




The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a major component of California's renewable energy planning efforts, will help provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems while allowing for the appropriate development of renewable energy projects.
The DRECP is focused on the desert regions and adjacent lands of seven California counties - Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. It is being prepared through an unprecedented collaborative effort between the California Energy Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also known as the Renewable Energy Action Team.
The DRECP will result in an efficient and effective biological mitigation and conservation program providing renewable project developers with permit timing and cost certainty under the federal and California Endangered Species Acts while at the same time preserving, restoring and enhancing natural communities and related ecosystems. Approximately 22.5 million acres of federal and non-federal California desert land are in the DRECP Plan Area.

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