Third-Party EIS for Great Plains Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan

Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
United States Fish & Wildlife Service
Nine State Region, USA

HDR is preparing a third-party Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a first-of-its-kind habitat conservation plan that spans nine states. As wind energy development becomes more complex, concern for avian impacts is being voiced by natural resources organizations. Of particular concern is the endangered whooping crane, whose migration corridor runs from Texas through the Dakotas and overlaps with some of the most dense wind resources in the United States.

As a result, there is a desire to develop a consistent, systematic and predictable approach that enables wind development while preserving habitat for species such as the whooping crane and lesser prairie-chicken. Extensive scoping and outreach efforts have been underway, including public hearings in 11 cities within the plan area.

The habitat conservation plan covers incidental take of species resulting from construction, operation and maintenance activities associated with wind energy development in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The effort is being led by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service Regions 2 and 6 and the Wind Energy Whooping Crane Action Group, which consists of 19 wind developers.