Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Program Western Solar Plan
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Details on Exclusions and Maps by State

Among the six states, there were some differences in the exclusion categories identified.

State and local BLM offices in each of the six states included in the Solar Energy Program provided spatial data as available that represented the exclusion categories listed in the Solar PEIS Record of Decision (ROD), Table A-2. Exclusion criteria differed somewhat by state, as detailed below.

State and local BLM offices may over time provide new data to support the graphical representation of exclusions, for example as land use plans are updated or the land base of exclusion categories change (e.g., critical habitat). When new data are received, they will be incorporated into Solar Mapper exclusion data.

The following categories of lands were excluded in all states:

  • Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs),
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Critical Habitat for Fauna,
  • USFWS Critical Habitat for Flora,
  • Lands with Slope Greater Than 5%,
  • Lands with Solar Insolation Levels Less Than 6.5 kWh/m2/day,
  • National Conservation Areas,
  • National Monuments,
  • National Trails,
  • Wilderness Areas, and
  • Wilderness Study Areas.

Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMAs) were excluded in all states except Nevada (where many designated SRMAs are located on semi-degraded lands that might be appropriate for solar development), and in a portion of the Yuma East SRMA in Arizona (not excluded because it is in a rural developed setting appropriate for development).

Additional information on exclusions in the six states is provided below.

Arizona Exclusions

Additional exclusion categories in Arizona are as follows:

  • New Exclusions between the Supplement to the Draft and Final Solar PEIS,
  • Right-of-Way (ROW) Avoidance Areas,
  • Previously Proposed Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) Lands Excluded, and
  • Visual Resource Management (VRM) Class I or II.

In January 2013, BLM Arizona released the ROD for its Restoration Design Energy Project (RDEP). The RDEP Record of Decision updated exclusion designations for ACECs, ROW Avoidance Areas, SRMAs, and VRM Class I or II areas.

California Exclusions

Additional exclusion categories in California are as follows:

  • New Exclusions between the Supplement to the Draft and Final Solar PEIS,
  • Desert Wildlife Management Areas,
  • Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard Habitat,
  • Fringe-Toed Lizard Habitat,
  • Previously Proposed Iron Mountain SEZ,
  • No Surface Occupancy (NSO) Areas,
  • Mohave Ground Squirrel Habitat,
  • Proposed Mohave Trails National Monument,
  • Proposed Lands To Be Transferred to the National Park Service,
  • Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat, and
  • Previously Proposed SEZ Lands Now Excluded.

Colorado Exclusions

Additional exclusion categories in Colorado are as follows:

  • New Exclusions between the Supplement to the Draft and Final Solar PEIS (including in the Columbine and Gunnison Field Offices and around Mesa Verde),
  • NSO Areas, and
  • Previously Proposed SEZ Lands Now Excluded.

Nevada Exclusions

Additional exclusion categories in Nevada are as follows:

  • Garden Valley Exclusions,
  • Instant Study Area Exclusions,
  • NSO Areas,
  • New Exclusions between the Supplement to the Draft and Final Solar PEIS, and
  • Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat.

New Mexico Exclusions

Additional exclusion categories in New Mexico are as follows:

  • New Exclusions between the Supplement to the Draft and Final Solar PEIS, and
  • ROW Avoidance and Exclusion Areas.

Utah Exclusions

Additional exclusion categories in Utah are as follows:

  • Gooseberry Mesa,
  • NSO Area,
  • ROW Avoidance Areas, including those in the Richfield-Price Field Office,
  • ROW Exclusion Areas,
  • Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat,
  • Previously Proposed SEZ Lands Now Excluded,
  • New Exclusions between the Supplement to the Draft and Final Solar PEIS (32), and
  • VRM Class I, II, or III.
Updated: 8/1/2013