10 Ways to be Smart From the Start
Give sportsmen a voice in decision making:
Open and transparent processes that encourage public input on important decisions, such as where to locate renewable energy projects, distribution facilities and transmission lines, are essential.
Protect roadless backcountry, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and local and state public lands:
Prioritize renewable energy development for disturbed or occupied land where energy infrastructure might already be in place.
Conserve important fish and wildlife habitat:
Game-bird habitat, trout streams, deer and elk winter range, migration corridors and fragile wetland and riparian habitats should not be inordinately sacrificed for renewable energy development projects.
Consult with state fish and wildlife officials first:
Development and permitting decisions affecting fish, wildlife and sporting recreation on federal public lands should be made in formal and documented consultation with state fish and wildlife agencies.
Rely on the latest science:
All decisions about renewable energy development projects should use the best available scientific information on fish, wildlife and water resources. Emerging science about impacts to critical fish and wildlife resources must be used to reach sound development decisions.
Strengthen the permitting and leasing process:
Existing processes using rights-of-way or special-use authorizations are insufficient. Leasing and permitting for renewable projects should be an open process that: protects public land; recognizes the value of fish, wildlife and recreation; considers the cumulative effects of development; and balances the multiple uses of these lands.
Monitor impacts to fish, wildlife and water:
A well-designed and adequately funded monitoring program is critical to determine if impacts are occurring and to make adjustments when effects on fish, wildlife and water resources exceed predetermined thresholds.
Mitigate damage and reclaim affected land and water:
A fund should be established from permit revenues to ensure that damage to fish and wildlife habitats is avoided, minimized or mitigated.
Comply with all relevant environmental laws:
To protect the resources on public lands, renewable energy development must abide by all local, state and federal policies and laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Forest Management Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and Resource Conservation Recovery Act.
Hold industry accountable for development costs:
To help the federal government effectively manage energy development on public lands, industry needs to cover all costs related to the permitting process, including thetime of state and federal wildlife professionals.