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by: WEST, Inc. and Wyoming Wildlife Consultants
July 6, 2010

Renewable NW Releases Sage-Grouse Report

Renewable Northwest released the report Greater Sage-Grouse & Wind Energy Development: A Review of the Issues. Renewable Northwest commissioned WEST, Inc. and Wyoming Wildlife Consultants to produce the report which summarizes major issues associated with wind energy development and greater sage-grouse in the western U.S.
Specifically, the authors:
  • developed a brief summary of the major threats to sage-grouse;
  • reviewed the pertinent literature on response of sage-grouse and similar species to wind energy development;
  • provided several stipulations to avoid and minimize impacts to sage-grouse when planning and developing wind energy facilities, and;
  • provided a framework for mitigation though habitat enhancements that might be used to offset potential impacts to sage-grouse associated with wind energy development.
This report provides several stipulations that may be used to avoid or minimize impacts when selecting sites for wind energy development as well as during the construction and operational phases of a wind energy facility. Finally, it provides a framework for developing a holistic sage-grouse management or mitigation plan for a given project area, primarily through habitat enhancements, and provide background information for each step for use by those developing the plan.
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The issue of sage-grouse protection is one that Renewable Northwest takes seriously. One of the pieces of the puzzle is how to balance renewable energy development, which is a vital tool in combatting global warming, with ensuring the protection of sage-grouse habitat.
The following resources are important to this issue.