Wildlife Advisory Committee gets closer to the finish line By Chris Madison (AWEA)

We may be about to find out. Since 2007, a Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee representing wind energy industry, government and wildlife groups, has been meeting to draft recommended guidelines for the Interior Secretary to consider in making decisions about siting wind power projects on Federal lands (not offshore). The group has its final meeting in March, when the draft is expected to be approved.

Reaching consensus on this is a singular accomplishment in an area where litigation is more typically the preferred option. And although the guidelines are only recommendations, they will carry weight with the Secretary and could serve as a basis for decisions by state and local jurisdictions grappling with the same question. (A consensus is a terrible thing to waste.)

Three members of the advisory committee, will be discussing the FAC process, and how the guidelines may be implemented, at an AWEA Wind Power Project Siting Workshop Feb. 17-18 in Denver.

“At the workshop, the siting practitioner can expect nuts and bolts instruction on how to apply the recommended guidelines and how the guidelines interact with the Endangered Species Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act,” said Rich Rayhill, a wind developer with Ridgeline Energy. Rayhill will be addressing the session along with fellow FAC members Dave Stout, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Steve Quarles, attorney with Crowell & Moring. Rayhill said the panel will also discuss of how the guidelines will be disseminated and applied at the field office; state; and county levels.


Wind Turbine Guidelines. Advisory Committee Meeting
March 2 – 4, 2010

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive,
Rooms 200 A&B
Arlington, VA 22203

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host a Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee meeting March 2 – 4, 2010. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting agenda will include discussion of the current draft Recommendations to the Secretary. Registration will be open until February 23, 2010.

On October 24, 2007, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced the appointment of 22 individuals as members of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee was formed and will function in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The scope and objective of the Committee, as outlined in its charter, is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on developing effective measures to avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats related to land-based wind energy facilities. The Committee members represent the varied interests associated with wind energy development and wildlife management. Current Committee members are listed below:

Dr. Taber Allison, Mass Audubon
Dr. Ed Arnett, Bat Conservation International
Mr. Michael Azeka, AES Wind Generation
Ms. Kathy Boydston, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Ms. René Braud, Horizon Wind Energy
Mr. Scott Darling, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Mr. Mike Daulton, National Audubon Society
Ms. Aimee Delach, Defenders of Wildlife
Commissioner Karen Douglas, California Energy Commission
Mr. Greg Hueckel, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Ms. Jeri Lawrence, Blackfeet Nation
Mr. Steve Lindenberg, U.S. Department of Energy
Mr. Andrew O. Linehan, PPM Energy
Mr. Robert Manes, The Nature Conservancy
Ms. Winifred Perkins, Florida Power and Light
Mr. Steven Quarles, Crowell & Moring, LLP
Mr. Rich Rayhill, Ridgeline Energy, LLC
Dr. Robert Robel, Kansas State University
Mr. Keith Sexson, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
Mr. Mark Sinclair, Clean Energy States Alliance
Mr. David J. Stout, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mr. Patrick Traylor, Hogan & Hartson, LLP