March 23, 2012
AWWI Welcomes USFWS Wind Energy Guidelines, Stands Ready to Support Effective Implementation
Washington, D.C. - The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) today welcomed the release by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of Wind Energy Guidelines to avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats related to land-based wind energy facilities and said it stands ready to support effective implementation. AWWI is a partnership of conservation nonprofits, wildlife agencies, and wind energy industry members that advances research and offers a forum for dialogue on wind-wildlife solutions.
"Facilitating the timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat is the shared goal of the conservation organizations and wind energy companies that founded AWWI,” said Abby Arnold, AWWI Executive Director. “AWWI is prepared to work with all key stakeholders to implement the guidelines to maximize development of wind power and minimize impacts to wildlife."
Genevieve Thompson, AWWI Vice Chair and a VP at Audubon, an AWWI founding organization, views the release of the guidelines as an exciting and effective opportunity for continued collaboration. Several of the conservation organizations and wind energy companies that commented on or participated in the development of recommendations regarding the guidelines are AWWI partners.
“Implementation of these voluntary guidelines presents an unprecedented pathway forward for AWWI partners to work together to increase renewable wind energy on the ground, while employing scientifically sound strategies to protect a very broad range of avian species and habitats,” said Thompson.
"Reliance on the science played an important role in the development of the guidelines and will continue to do so in their implementation,” said Taber Allison, AWWI Director of Research and Evaluation. “For example, as companies assess the potential level of impact to certain species at a proposed location, it is important that they have access to information about the possible range and presence of a species, models to predict behavior and possible interactions, and tools to mitigate impact that are all grounded in the science.”
AWWI initiatives include research and the development of tools intended to help minimize the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife. AWWI in collaboration with the Nature Conservancy has created a Landscape Assessment Tool that is compatible with the tiered, risk-based approach outlined in the Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines.