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UW’s Ruckelshaus Institute Publishes Wind and Wildlife Mitigation Primer


October 24, 2012 — “Wind Energy Development and Wildlife Mitigation in Wyoming: A Primer” is now available from the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.

“As more wind projects are constructed, the effects wind facilities may have on wildlife are increasingly a concern,” says Anne Jakle, interim assistant director of the Ruckelshaus Institute and the primer’s author. “This publication outlines known practices to avoid or minimize impacts of wind facilities on wildlife and highlights existing wind energy policies with clear mitigation guidelines.”

Download the primer at www.uwyo.edu/enr or request a hard copy by calling (307) 766-5080.

“Wind Energy Development and Wildlife Mitigation in Wyoming” is part of the Ruckelshaus Institute’s Energy Mitigation Research and Outreach Initiative, which gathers, synthesizes and delivers information on mitigation practices intended to ameliorate consequences to wildlife from landscape-scale energy development. Earlier this year, the Ruckelshaus Institute released a similar primer on natural gas development and wildlife mitigation, which further defines mitigation terminology and practices.

This publication is released on the heels of the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of the nation’s largest wind project -- Chokecherry/Sierra Madre -- which will be located on federal, state and private lands southwest of Rawlins. Including this 2,000-3,000 megawatt project, Ruckelshaus Institute analysis shows that up to 8,500 megawatts of new wind energy projects are proposed in Wyoming, or approximately six times the state’s current installed capacity.

“Wind facilities’ impacts on most species of wildlife other than birds and bats are not well understood, and scientific understanding and mitigation practices are evolving in step with wind energy development,” Jakle says.

This publication surveys existing wildlife mitigation practices for wind energy projects. It explores what might be next for wind as development moves increasingly to federal lands and may be subject to increased permitting and mitigation requirements. It will help land and wildlife managers, decision-makers and industry better understand the context of mitigation and wind energy development.

A division of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at UW, the Ruckelshaus Institute supports stakeholder-driven solutions to environmental challenges by communicating relevant research and promoting collaborative decision making.

For more information, contact Emilene Ostlind at (307) 766-2604 or email emilene@uwyo.edu.

Photo:
The new primer from the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources outlines known practices to avoid or minimize impacts of wind facilities on wildlife and highlights existing wind energy policies with clear mitigation guidelines.

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