On March 23, 2012, the United States Department of Interior's Fish & Wildlife Service issued final Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines (the "Guidelines"). These non-binding Guidelines set out the wildlife impact studies and procedures for determining appropriate mitigation measures that onshore wind energy developers should undertake before and after a project's construction. The impacts to wildlife the Guidelines address include collisions with wind turbines, loss of habitat, fragmentation of large habitat blocks, wildlife displacement and behavioral changes, and indirect effects on wildlife such as the introduction of invasive plants. The Guidelines present a tiered approach to guide project developers through the Guidelines' inquiries and mitigation measures. They are intended to apply to all utility-scale, community-scale and distributed land-based wind energy projects on private or public land.
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