Fish & Wildlife Offers Ways to Lower Wind Farm Impact on Wildlife

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has submitted a set of final recommendations on how to minimize the impacts of land-based wind farms on wildlife and their habitats to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

These recommendations represent the consensus of the 22 diverse members of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee and were reached during a more than two-year process. Secretary Salazar plans to review the recommendations and take them under advisement as he directs the Service to develop guidelines for evaluating wind energy development on public and private lands.

“The Interior Department strongly supports the development of renewable and sustainable energy, including wind generated electricity,” said Acting Fish and Wildlife Service Director Rowan Gould.

The document contains both policy recommendations and recommended voluntary guidelines for siting and operating wind energy projects in order to avoid or minimize potential impacts to wildlife and habitat. After the Interior Secretary’s review, the Service will use the committee’s recommendations to develop and publish its revised guidelines in the Federal Register and open them for public comment. The document, as well as a complete list of committee members, is available from the Fish & Wildlife Services Website..

Highlights of the recommendations include:

  • A decision-making framework that guides all stages of wind energy development;
  • Reliance on the best available science when assessing renewable energy projects and their potential environmental impact; and
  • Use of landscape-scaled planning that recognizes the need to think long-term about protecting our nation’s economic and natural resources.

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