Wind energy development on national forest lands
(Posted November 11, 2007)
The U.S. Forest Service is proposing new directives pertaining to wind energy development on national forest system (NFS) lands. To date, there are no wind energy facilities on forest lands so this direction will set the rules for an entirely new public land use across all national forests and grasslands. The Federal Register notice and other information about this matter can be accessed at http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2007-09-24-E7-18715
IWA and others are raising issue with the proposed Forest Service policy. Our main concerns are:
1) Failure to assess environmental impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA);
2) Failure to consult with US Fish & Wildlife Service under Endangered Species Act (ESA);
3) Wildlife monitoring guidance grants too much discretion to local Forest Service officials and wind energy developers;
4) Forest Service has determined these directives will have no economic impact on small business (tourism, etc.), despite lack of assessment under NEPA.
The deadline for filing comments to the Forest Service is November 23, 2007, but a request will soon be filed for a 60-day extension. Please contact Judy Rodd (email@example.com) of Friends of Blackwater (WV) if your group can lend support to this request for extension. Judy will need your group's name, contact person, address, and e-mail/phone number. Thank you for your help.