ABC BIRDS letter to Dept of Interior
Sign On Letter t… Steve Holmer To you - Yesterday More Details
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Sign On Letter to Secretary Sally Jewell Asking for Bird-Smart Wind Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has just announced a new policy to mitigate the impacts of energy development on public lands, including landscape planning to help avoid impacts in the first place. This is critically important to help avoid siting wind energy projects in the wrong places.
We invite your organization to sign on the following letter, asking Secretary Jewell for the development of a national programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) for wind energy development. Such a plan would be consistent with the Secretary’s new mitigation strategy and would engage scientists and the public to provide protection for important bird habitats and migratory routes and to require effective mitigation for unavoidable impacts to birds and other wildlife.
To sign on, please see http://support.abcbirds.org/site/Survey? ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=1460
Sign On Letter to Secretary Sally Jewell Asking for Bird-Smart Wind The Honorable Sally Jewell Secretary U.S. Department of the Interior Washington, D.C. 20240 Dear Secretary Jewell: On behalf of the undersigned conservation organizations, we ask the U.S. Department of the Interior to develop a Programmatic Wind Environmental Impact Statement to identify appropriate areas for wind energy development as well as areas where new projects should be avoided to conserve wildlife and sensitive habitats. A national, Wind Energy EIS is entirely consistent with your recently-released strategy for improving landscape level planning and mitigation for future development on public lands (Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of Interior). Wind energy, and indeed all forms of energy development have the potential to cause significant harm to wildlife if improperly sited and managed. Recent peer-reviewed articles have documented significant losses of birds and bats, including threatened, endangered and other protected species (an estimated 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats annually at 2012 build-out levels. The number of birds taken annually by wind energy facilities could exceed 1.4 million by 2030 if there is no change in US policy towards wind energy development. There are also significant habitat impacts to ESA candidate species such as the Greater Sage-Grouse. Combined with other major human impacts on bird populations, including feral cats, pesticides and collisions, this could continue the downward trend we are currently seeing in even our most common species. The undersigned groups are supportive of renewable energy as a way to address anthropogenic climate change, but only if it addresses wildlife and habitat impacts. In particular, this means appropriate pre-construction assessments of risk leading to proper siting, post-construction mitigation and independent monitoring of fatalities, and compensation if and when public trust resources are being taken. Effective risk assessment also means being aware of the cumulative impact of other sources of fatalities besides wind, both natural and unnatural. When it comes to wind energy, siting is everything. Indeed, we believe that much of this conflict could be averted by a National Wind Energy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which would determine where wind energy should be developed and where it should not. Siting wind energy turbines in major bird migration routes, in or near critical breeding habitat, and in or near other sensitive areas, such as wetlands, wildlife refuges and parks, and priority Greater Sage-Grouse habitat poses far too great a risk to our public trust resources, including birds and bats. ABC and other organizations have created maps to help guide wind energy siting decisions. Newly developed information from USGS could also be incorporated into the planning process. There is precedence for such an EIS. Recently we met with representatives of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who have conducted just such a planning effort for solar energy on public lands in the West, identifying areas where solar energy can be developed versus where it should not. They are further considering how to factor in cumulative impacts from other development (e.g., oil and gas) into their decision making processes. Depending on how effectively this process is implemented, it could potentially provide a model for wind energy development as well. We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you. BLM Director Neil Kornze, and FWS Director Dan Ashe to discuss these issues in more detail. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, American Bird Conservancy
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Steve Holmer Senior Policy Advisor American Bird Conservancy & Director, Bird Conservation Alliance 202-888-7490 firstname.lastname@example.org
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