Wyoming Ecological Services
Mountain-Prairie Region

Wind | Oil and Gas | Mining | Contact Us | Links


Appendix A: Best Mangement Practices


BMPS: Minimize Avian Impacts from Project Construction and Operation

The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) apply to construction and operation of wind energy facilities.

  • Minimize the area and intensity of disturbances during pre‐construction activities, such as monitoring and site reconnaissance.
  • Prioritize locating development on disturbed lands that provide minimal wildlife habitat.
  • Utilize existing transmission corridors and roads.
  • Ensure site selected does not bisect important wildlife use areas.
  • Design project layout to reduce collision and electrocution:
    • Site turbines in groups rather than spreading them widely, and orient rows of turbines parallel to known bird migrations.
    • Site structures away from high avian use areas and the flight zones between them.
    • Dismantle nonoperational turbines and metrological towers.
    • Bury powerlines when feasible to reduce avian collision and electrocution.
    • Follow the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC) guidance on power line construction (APLIC 2006) and power line siting (APLIC 1994).
    • Develop a transportation plan, including road design, locations and speed limits to minimize habitat fragmentation and wildlife collisions.
    • Minimize the extent of the road network.
  • Select project features that minimize impacts to birds:
    • Avoid use of lattice or structures that are attractive to birds for perching.
    • Avoid construction designs that increase the collision risk, such as guy wires. If guy wires are used, mark them with bird flight diverters (according to manufacturer’s recommendation).
  • Minimize lighting at facilities:
    • To meet FAA requirements, use red or dual red and white strobe, strobe‐like, or flashing lights. Do not use steady burning lights.
    • Minimize use of high‐intensity lighting, or bright lights such as sodium vapor, quartz, halogen, or other bright spotlights.
    • Light only a portion of the turbines, and ensure that all pilot warning lights fire synchronously.
    • Install motion or heat sensors and switches to turn off lights when not required.
    • Hood and direct lights downward to minimize horizontal and skyward illumination.
  • Maintain facilities to minimize avian impacts:
    • If rodents, such as deer mice, are attracted to project facilities, identify and eliminate activities that may attract them. Do not control for native wildlife without contacting the appropriate regulatory agencies. Use methods other than poisons for control.
    • Avoid management that indirectly results in attracting raptors to turbines, such as seeding forbs or maintaining rock piles that attract lagamorphs and rodents.
    • Move stored parts and equipment, which may be utilized by small mammals for cover, away from wind turbines.
    • If fossorial mammals burrow near tower footprints, fill holes and surround pad with gravel at least 2 inches deep and out to a perimeter of at least 5 feet.
    • Immediately remove carcasses, which have the potential to attract raptors, from roadways and from areas where raptors could collide with wind turbines.
    • Control for invasive plants by following local policies for weed control, clean vehicles and equipment arriving from areas with invasive species, use locally sourced topsoil, and monitor and rapidly remove noxious weeds.
    • Prioritize native species when seeding or planting for restoration and maintenance.
  • Reduce vehicle collision risk to wildlife:
    • Instruct project personnel and visitors to drive at low speeds, and be alert for wildlife, especially in low visibility conditions.
    • Plow roads during winter so as not to impede ungulate movement. Snow banks can cause ungulates to run along roads resulting in vehicular collision. Roadside carcasses attract raptors, subjecting them to collision as well.
  • Follow procedures that reduce risk to wildlife:
    • Instruct employees, contractors, and visitors to avoid disturbing wildlife, especially during breeding seasons and periods of winter stress.
    • Reduce fire hazards from vehicles and human activities (e.g., use spark arrestors on power equipment, avoid driving vehicles off road).
    • Follow federal and state measures for handling toxic substances.
    • Minimize impacts to wetlands and water resources by following provisions of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251‐1387).


Previous Section: Literature Cited|Next Section: Appendix B: Avian Protection Plan Development General Guidelines


Back to Top | Wind Home

Last updated: April 10, 2013