"This is a giant step toward making the clean, renewable wind power that America needs compatible with the wildlife and wild places we cherish. But it's a long journey, we're just getting started and success will require more than promises.
"It's encouraging that industry, government and wildlife interests came together to chart the course to wind energy that's truly wildlife friendly. But we can't forget that these are voluntary guidelines; they won't make a bit of difference unless everyone stays on course. The Interior Secretary needs to help by endorsing the path and investing the resources to help America complete the journey.
"We're especially excited that these guidelines call for the kind of resource mapping that Audubon has been doing to help sound science guide wind projects to areas where they pose the least danger to wildlife and habitat. And we're gratified by the recognition that wind projects cannot be allowed to fragment what's left of healthy habitat. Minimizing and mitigating harm to wildlife and habitat means less chance that projects will generate opposition and greater odds that they can quickly generate clean, renewable energy the jobs that come with it.
"With proper site selection, planning and monitoring, wind energy can help reduce the need for fossil fuels that threaten wildlife and all life by altering our climate. These guidelines will enable project planning that is smart from the start and that will help wind power to fuel a future that is both prosperous and wild."
Background: The guidelines stem from the appointment by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced the appointment of 22 individuals to serve as a Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee, under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Representing varied interests associated with wind energy development and wildlife management, the committee recommends to the Secretary measures to avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats caused by land-based wind energy facilities.
Audubon's Chief Scientist, Dr. Thomas Bancroft currently serves on the committee
Visit www.fws.gov/habitatconservation/wind.html for resources related to wind energy and wildlife.
See Audubon's policy on Wind Energy at http://www.audubon.org/campaign/windPowerQA.html