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The Wildlife Society Releases Position Statement on Wind Energy Development  

BETHESDA, MARYLAND, May. 16 -/E-Wire/– The Wildlife Society (TWS) today released their position statement on wind energy, “Impacts of Wind Energy Facilities on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat.” This position statement is based on TWS’ award-winning technical review of the same name. Earlier this year, the Natural Resources Council of America gave TWS a 2008 Award of Achievement in the “Best State and Local Project” category for their technical review.

“We have found that the magnitude of impacts from wind energy development on wildlife, particularly migratory birds and bats, is not articulated consistently to wildlife managers, decision makers or the public,” stated Michael Hutchins, PhD, executive director of TWS. “This lack of consistency hinders progress toward developing energy solutions that do not adversely impact wildlife.”

The position statement notes “Given the projected increasing development of wind energy, biologically significant cumulative impacts are possible for some species and may become more pronounced over time unless solutions are found. Avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating harmful impacts to wildlife are important elements of ‘green energy’ and it is imperative that developers of wind energy, scientists, and natural resource agency specialists cooperate in developing and testing methods to minimize harm to wildlife.”

The policy of The Wildlife Society, in regard to wind energy development is to:

1. Encourage greater coordination among states and provinces and their agencies responsible for wildlife and energy development to ensure consistency in permitting requirements, monitoring and research efforts, and acceptable mitigation, especially for migratory wildlife.

2. Encourage development and consistent implementation of guidelines for siting, monitoring, and mitigation strategies among states, provinces, and federal agencies that establish standards for conducting site-specific, scientifically sound and consistent pre- and post-construction evaluations, using comparable methods as much as is feasible, depending on site characteristics.

3. Advocate for the inclusion of guidelines in the permitting process to further strengthen agency participation and implementation of guidelines.

4. Advocate for the avoidance of siting wind facilities in high-risk areas that are determined based on the best science available.

5. Encourage implementation of on- and off-site habitat mitigation to reduce habitat-related impacts.

6. Encourage priority research that is properly designed and conducted to ensure unbiased data collection that meets peer review and legal standards.

7. Encourage more consistent, longer-term studies that utilize standardized protocols to address specific questions and improve comparability of studies and credibility of efforts.

8. Encourage publication of research results.

9. Encourage regional assessments and forecasting of cumulative land-use and impacts from all sources of energy development, and development of regional conservation strategies among industries, agencies, and private landowners to reduce conflicts and increase options for mitigation and conservation.

10. Educate the public and decision-makers about the natural resources implications of different forms of energy production and encourage efforts to conserve energy

11. Advocate that decision-makers address impacts of wind energy development on wildlife when approving wind energy projects.

12. Encourage the establishment of cooperative relationships between states, provinces, and federal agencies and wind energy companies.

“Our position statements reflect carefully prepared and concise exposition on a wildlife issue that defines the issue, contains factual background data, describes the most probable biological, social, and economics results ofalternative actions,” continued Hutchins. “It is our belief that by offering a thorough, non-biased assessment of the current science, we can provide some clarity to those actively working on development of wind energy resources.”

About The Wildlife Society

TWS is a scientific and educational organization dedicated to enhancing the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve diversity, sustain productivity, and ensure the responsible use of wildlife resources for the benefit of society. TWS also is an advocate for science-based wildlife policy. For more information visit www.wildlife.org Contact Info: Laura Bies

(301) 897-9770 ext. 308 Website : The Wildlife Society

/SOURCE:
The Wildlife Society
-0-
05-16-2008
/CONTACT:
Laura Bies (301) 897-9770 ext. 308
/WEB SITE: http://www.wildlife.org/

ewire.com

16 May 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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