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Energy Mitigation Initiative

Energy Mitigation Initiative

Energy Mitigation Initiative

Energy has long been the cornerstone of Wyoming’s economy, with coal and oil historically dominating the state’s natural resource extraction industry and natural gas and wind energy leading growth in recent years.

Also important to the Wyoming way of life are iconic wildlife species that contribute recreational, economic, and aesthetic values to the state.

As the U.S. capitalizes on domestic energy sources, western states will continue to accrue economic benefits, as well as the challenges of mitigating energy development impacts to wildlife.

The Ruckelshaus Institute is synthesizing and evaluating current wildlife mitigation practices to better understand the range of mitigation options available and is contributing to a better understanding of mitigation options, successes, and challenges.

What is mitigation?

Mitigation includes:
(a)     Making efforts to avoid impacts,
(b)     Minimizing remaining impacts, and
(c)     Compensating for unavoidable impacts.

This definition represents a hierarchy of activities: first seek to avoid and minimize impacts and then compensate for impacts that do occur.

While mitigation can address impacts to air quality, cultural and visual resources, livestock, and recreation, and can address effects from a number of human impacts, the Mitigation Initiative focuses specifically on mitigating impacts to wildlife from energy development.

Featured publications

Fertilizing Western Rangelands for Ungulate Conservation: An Assessment of Benefits and Risks

Fertilizing Western Rangelands for Ungulate Conservation

To offset habitat loss from energy development, wildlife managers are experimenting with large-scale sagebrush fertilization on western public rangelands. We synthesize what is known about basic sagebrush ecosystem biogeochemistry and ungulate nutritional ecology to anticipate the benefits and risks of this emerging mitigation tool.

Nicole Korfanta, Megan Mobley, and Indy Burke (2015)

Published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Market-based Wildlife Mitigation in Wyoming: A Primer (2013)

Market-based Wildlife Mitigation in Wyoming

This publication contextualizes payment for ecosystem service markets and explains mitigation banking, conservation banking, and habitat exchanges and how these markets might work in Wyoming.

Kristi Hansen, Anne Jakle, and Mary Hogarty (2013)

Wind Development and Wildlife Mitigation in Wyoming: A Primer (2012)

Wind Development and Wildlife Mitigation in Wyoming

This publication draws from scientific, working, and statutory knowledge to provide a survey of current wildlife mitigation practices for wind energy projects—both in Wyoming and outside the state. It also explores what might be next for wildlife mitigation and wind as development moves increasingly to federal lands.

Anne Jakle (2012)

Natural Gas Development and Wildlife Mitigation: A Primer, 2012

Natural Gas Development and Wildlife Mitigation in Wyoming

This primer lays an informational foundation and understanding of terminology for mitigation stakeholders. It outlines the mitigation process (avoidance, minimization, and compensation) and sets the stage for wildlife mitigation triggers and guidelines surrounding natural gas development in Wyoming.

Anne Jakle (2012)

Browse the Energy Mitigation Initiative publications.


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