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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the availability of the final voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines (Guidelines). These Guidelines supersede the Service's 2003 voluntary interim guidelines for land-based wind energy development. They respond to accelerated development of land-based wind energy generation projects in the United States. These voluntary Guidelines provide developers and agency staff with an iterative process to make sound decisions in selecting sites to avoid, minimize and compensate for adverse effects to wildlife, particularly migratory and birds of prey and bats, and their habitats resulting from construction, operation, and maintenance of land-based wind energy facilities.

The voluntary Guidelines will provide Service staff, developers, landowners and other stakeholders with a tool to assist in avoiding, minimizing, and compensating for significant adverse impacts to wildlife and their habitats. Adherence to the Guidelines is voluntary and does not relieve any individual, company, or agency of the responsibility to comply with laws and regulations. However, if a violation of law occurs, the Service will consider a developer's documented efforts to communicate with the Service and adhere to the Guidelines. The Guidelines include a Communications Protocol that provides guidance to both developers and Service personnel regarding expectations of appropriate communication and documentation.

Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice.

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