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1 Refining the Protocol for a Rapid Assessment Methodology for Wind Development, and Developing a Matrix/Key to Integrate Pre- and Post-construction Monitoring.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Refining the Protocol for a Rapid Assessment Methodology for Wind Development, and Developing a Matrix/Key to Integrate Pre- and Post-construction Monitoring."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Refining the Protocol for a Rapid Assessment Methodology for Wind Development, and Developing a Matrix/Key to Integrate Pre- and Post-construction Monitoring for Commercial Wind Projects Based on Risk Albert M. Manville, II, Ph.D. Senior Wildlife Biologist Division of Migratory Bird Management, USFWS 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., MBSP-4107 Arlington, VA (o) 703/ Douglas H. Johnson, Ph.D., Research Statistician, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, St. Paul, MN Edward B. Arnett, Ph.D., Conservation Scientist and Co-Director of Programs, Bat Conservation International, Austin, TX Research VII National Wind Coordinating Collaborative Meeting, Session on Cumulative Impacts to Wildlife Habitat and Behavior, We Energies Headquarters, Milwaukee, WI October 29, 2008

2 2 Project Collaborators Lori Nielsen, Senior Wildlife Biologist/Project Manager, EDM International, Inc., Ft. Collins, COLori Nielsen, Senior Wildlife Biologist/Project Manager, EDM International, Inc., Ft. Collins, CO Keith Lott, Wind Energy Wildlife Biologist, Ohio Division of Wildlife, OH DNR, Huron, OHKeith Lott, Wind Energy Wildlife Biologist, Ohio Division of Wildlife, OH DNR, Huron, OH Robert Hazlewood, Retired USFWS Wildlife Biologist and Consultant, Helena, MTRobert Hazlewood, Retired USFWS Wildlife Biologist and Consultant, Helena, MT Alex Hoar, Wildlife Biologist and Northeast Energy Permits Coordinator, R5 Ecological Services, USFWS, Hadley, MAAlex Hoar, Wildlife Biologist and Northeast Energy Permits Coordinator, R5 Ecological Services, USFWS, Hadley, MA Jeff Gosse, Ph.D., Regional Environmental Coordinator, R3 Ecological Services, USFWS, Ft. Snelling, MNJeff Gosse, Ph.D., Regional Environmental Coordinator, R3 Ecological Services, USFWS, Ft. Snelling, MN Michael Green, Ph.D., R1 Nongame Landbird Program Coordinator, Migratory Birds, USFWS, Portland, ORMichael Green, Ph.D., R1 Nongame Landbird Program Coordinator, Migratory Birds, USFWS, Portland, OR Vernon Lang, Asst. Field Supervisor, New England Field Office, USFWS, Concord, NHVernon Lang, Asst. Field Supervisor, New England Field Office, USFWS, Concord, NH Tim Sullivan, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, NY Field Office, USFWS, Cortland, NYTim Sullivan, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, NY Field Office, USFWS, Cortland, NY Dave Stout, Chief, Div. Habitat and Resource Conservation and DFO for Wind Turbine FAC, USFWS, Arlington, VADave Stout, Chief, Div. Habitat and Resource Conservation and DFO for Wind Turbine FAC, USFWS, Arlington, VA

3 3 Issues to Be Briefly Addressed: Assessing Risk at a Site Prior to Construction.Assessing Risk at a Site Prior to Construction. What is a Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM)?What is a Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM)? How are Issues of Subjectivity Better Addressed in a RAM?How are Issues of Subjectivity Better Addressed in a RAM? Components of a RAM, including a Checklist for Temporal and Spatial Use of Airspace.Components of a RAM, including a Checklist for Temporal and Spatial Use of Airspace. Next steps: Developing and Using a Decision Tree/Matrix/Key for Performing Pre- and Post-construction Studies.Next steps: Developing and Using a Decision Tree/Matrix/Key for Performing Pre- and Post-construction Studies. Purpose of a Matrix.Purpose of a Matrix. Aligning and Integrating the Matrix –Aligning and Integrating the Matrix – Tools that Need to be Accessed. Tools that Need to be Accessed. Next Steps. Next Steps.

4 4 Introduction and Background:  Airspace as a habitat is a relatively new concept, including for USFWS.  Our goal as an agency is to do no harm.  Wind turbines use airspace, heights topped out 440 ft AGL, rotor swept areas approaching 4 ac.  More than 22,000 industrial turbines now operate in the U.S. (with 45% growth in 2007), and projections by AWEA and NREL call for 20% of our energy development from wind by 2030 (now at just over 1%).  The rapid growth of this industry creates challenges as well as opportunities. SourceWWEA

5 5 Selecting Potential Sites: Depends on many variables including but not limited to:Depends on many variables including but not limited to: –good to excellent wind resources, –large plots of available (ideally private) land, –proximity to an available electric grid with unused capacity, –ease in development, –permitting requirements, –cost, and –ecological issues (after P. Ponebshek, ERM, Feb AWEA conference). This presentation focuses primarily on ecological issues and how to assess, rank and ideally quantify them.

6 6 Assessing Risk: Because of concerns regarding cumulative impacts to birds, bats, other wildlife, and their habitats from wind facilities, selection of wind development sites should be based on the known and/or perceived level of risk to species and habitats.Because of concerns regarding cumulative impacts to birds, bats, other wildlife, and their habitats from wind facilities, selection of wind development sites should be based on the known and/or perceived level of risk to species and habitats.  Ideally, the most wildlife- and habitat-friendly sites should be selected for development, making site selection a critical issue.  Few options presently exist to avoid or minimize collisions of birds and bats once turbines are operating.  These options essentially include increasing blade cut-in speed, “feathering” (i.e., idling) blades, and, in elevated terrains, setting turbines back from ridge lines, and – based on Altamont Pass studies, replacing end-of-row turbines w/ pylons and not placing turbines in dips. Research is ongoing in refining these practices.  Thus, proper site location is critical, and methods to better assess risk at a site prior to construction based on the best available science are needed.

7 7 Reality of Project Siting: Time may be limited when sites are being selected, taking into account production tax credit “sunsets” and renewable portfolio standard thresholds.Time may be limited when sites are being selected, taking into account production tax credit “sunsets” and renewable portfolio standard thresholds. This can result in little time and few resources being made available to objectively evaluate sites for risk prior to a company negotiating a landowner agreement, establishing a power-purchase contract, and acquiring funding for a project.This can result in little time and few resources being made available to objectively evaluate sites for risk prior to a company negotiating a landowner agreement, establishing a power-purchase contract, and acquiring funding for a project. While USFWS has strongly encouraged wind developers to contact our nearest Ecological Services Field Office at the outset of any proposed development, this has generally not happened – often occurring only as an afterthought.While USFWS has strongly encouraged wind developers to contact our nearest Ecological Services Field Office at the outset of any proposed development, this has generally not happened – often occurring only as an afterthought.

8 8 A First Attempt at Site Assessment: USFWS developed a Potential Impact Index (PII) scoring protocol in 2002 that became part of its 2003 voluntary land-based wind turbine guidelines. The PII was developed to quickly assess risk and to rank sites prior to construction.USFWS developed a Potential Impact Index (PII) scoring protocol in 2002 that became part of its 2003 voluntary land-based wind turbine guidelines. The PII was developed to quickly assess risk and to rank sites prior to construction. PII workshops were planned to field test, evaluate, and fine-tune the protocol, but they were cancelled, the industry did not generally embrace the PII protocol, it has had limited use by the industry, and the PII lacked a component involving temporal and spatial use of airspace.PII workshops were planned to field test, evaluate, and fine-tune the protocol, but they were cancelled, the industry did not generally embrace the PII protocol, it has had limited use by the industry, and the PII lacked a component involving temporal and spatial use of airspace.

9 9 Assessing Risk at a Site Prior to Construction: There are various methodologies for assessing site risk – both to wildlife and to habitats – but they are mostly used for addressing risk following construction, not at the pre- construction or initial site-survey review levels.There are various methodologies for assessing site risk – both to wildlife and to habitats – but they are mostly used for addressing risk following construction, not at the pre- construction or initial site-survey review levels. These post-construction surveys can range from reconnaissance-level site assessment (e.g., the WEST model), to quantitative data collection (e.g., at projects such as Klondike, State Line, and Big Horn), to ecological risk assessment (e.g., Pandion’s Chautauqua project).These post-construction surveys can range from reconnaissance-level site assessment (e.g., the WEST model), to quantitative data collection (e.g., at projects such as Klondike, State Line, and Big Horn), to ecological risk assessment (e.g., Pandion’s Chautauqua project). Pre-developed sites can be identified and evaluated, for example, based on permit requirements, a “first-cut” PII review of site suitability, a “fatal flaw” analysis, studies to characterize site risk, and Environmental Impact assessments.Pre-developed sites can be identified and evaluated, for example, based on permit requirements, a “first-cut” PII review of site suitability, a “fatal flaw” analysis, studies to characterize site risk, and Environmental Impact assessments.

10 10 Initial Site Screening: One pre-construction site-screening tool is called a “Critical Environmental Issues Analysis” (CEIA) – jointly developed by Environmental Resources Management and WEST.One pre-construction site-screening tool is called a “Critical Environmental Issues Analysis” (CEIA) – jointly developed by Environmental Resources Management and WEST. It includes components such as site mapping, biological evaluation, and expert judgment.It includes components such as site mapping, biological evaluation, and expert judgment. CEIA contains site scoring components, not unlike the 3 scoring checklists developed in the PII site scoring – e.g., for 1) physical attributes, 2) species occurrence and status, and 3) ecological attractiveness.CEIA contains site scoring components, not unlike the 3 scoring checklists developed in the PII site scoring – e.g., for 1) physical attributes, 2) species occurrence and status, and 3) ecological attractiveness. However, CEIA includes other environmental attributes such as road access, slope, and use of radar, and can result in a summary score for an environmental footprint and a score for an ecological value.However, CEIA includes other environmental attributes such as road access, slope, and use of radar, and can result in a summary score for an environmental footprint and a score for an ecological value. Like the PII, it allows for multiple site analyses, but does not include a “reference site” (i.e., the ecologically worst site in the immediate area where wind energy could be developed) suggested in the PII protocol.Like the PII, it allows for multiple site analyses, but does not include a “reference site” (i.e., the ecologically worst site in the immediate area where wind energy could be developed) suggested in the PII protocol.

11 11 Developing and Refining a RAPID ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY (RAM): Given time constraints and competition among wind developers, we suggest development and refinement of a Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM) to assess site risks prior to development – building on efforts already created for the PII.Given time constraints and competition among wind developers, we suggest development and refinement of a Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM) to assess site risks prior to development – building on efforts already created for the PII. The RAM can be used both for macro- and micro- siting of facilities and individual turbines, fine-tuning landscape features for micro-site review.The RAM can be used both for macro- and micro- siting of facilities and individual turbines, fine-tuning landscape features for micro-site review. Here are the rudiments of the desired components of a RAM.Here are the rudiments of the desired components of a RAM.

12 12 Purpose of the Rapid Assessment Methodology: The RAM is to be designed to quickly assess potential wind development sites in an expeditious and inexpensive way.The RAM is to be designed to quickly assess potential wind development sites in an expeditious and inexpensive way. Like the PII was originally intended, the RAM is designed to provide a “first cut” analysis of the suitability of a site by establishing and quantifying the potential impacts and risk to wildlife species present on the site or in the immediate area, and the potential risk to habitats that may be impacted.Like the PII was originally intended, the RAM is designed to provide a “first cut” analysis of the suitability of a site by establishing and quantifying the potential impacts and risk to wildlife species present on the site or in the immediate area, and the potential risk to habitats that may be impacted. The RAM protocol is intended to be user-friendly, and quickly and easily conducted in the field – often with ~ 1 day at the site collecting data and assessing risk.The RAM protocol is intended to be user-friendly, and quickly and easily conducted in the field – often with ~ 1 day at the site collecting data and assessing risk. Due to access issues, one may not need to visit the actual site, but rather assess it from a nearby site or even perform aerial over flights.Due to access issues, one may not need to visit the actual site, but rather assess it from a nearby site or even perform aerial over flights.

13 13 Additional Needs for RAM Off-site Assessments: The RAM will require additional searching – likely more than 1 day of effort – especially if the area proposed for development is new. These searches include:The RAM will require additional searching – likely more than 1 day of effort – especially if the area proposed for development is new. These searches include: A literature review;A literature review; map and GIS assessments of the immediate area to better help to understand site risk, including, e.g., information in electronic or hard copy of adjacent wetlands and mountain passes used as migratory corridors;map and GIS assessments of the immediate area to better help to understand site risk, including, e.g., information in electronic or hard copy of adjacent wetlands and mountain passes used as migratory corridors; terrain and vegetation determinations;terrain and vegetation determinations; documented and/or suspected bird, bat, and wildlife presence on or adjacent to the site – including State and Federally-listed species, birds of conservation concern, Breeding Bird Survey declining species, watchlist species, known staging, roosting and breeding areas, known maternity colonies and hibernacula, and specific migratory corridors or pathways;documented and/or suspected bird, bat, and wildlife presence on or adjacent to the site – including State and Federally-listed species, birds of conservation concern, Breeding Bird Survey declining species, watchlist species, known staging, roosting and breeding areas, known maternity colonies and hibernacula, and specific migratory corridors or pathways;

14 14 Additional Needs for RAM Off-site Assessments, cont.: site-specific information already available to the public including NEXRAD (provided the Doppler beam width is appropriate to the site, algorithms have been developed for “targets,” and the information is user-friendly), marine radar, thermal imagery, acoustic, mist netting, harp trapping, surveys, or related studies conducted in the immediate proximity of the site;site-specific information already available to the public including NEXRAD (provided the Doppler beam width is appropriate to the site, algorithms have been developed for “targets,” and the information is user-friendly), marine radar, thermal imagery, acoustic, mist netting, harp trapping, surveys, or related studies conducted in the immediate proximity of the site; contacts with appropriate State and Federal agencies; andcontacts with appropriate State and Federal agencies; and inclusion of any surveys that review temporal and spatial use of airspace in and around the project area.inclusion of any surveys that review temporal and spatial use of airspace in and around the project area.

15 15 Purpose and Intentions of RAM: The RAM is intended to provide a site assessment methodology that is:The RAM is intended to provide a site assessment methodology that is: –consistent and standardized, –relies on existing information, –can access studies made available to the public conducted at adjacent sites, –is iterative allowing for feedback from previous study results, –and based on the rigor and scientific validity of existing information, would minimize subjective reviews.

16 16 Reducing Subjectivity:  The issue of subjectivity in determining species presence was a concern raised in PII scoring. To reduce subjectivity, the RAM will assess: o Giving State and Federal threatened and endangered species additional weight (i.e., comparatively higher scores based on the imperiled status of the species in question compared to more common species); o Score/rank species/groups of birds and bats based on their collision risk as a measurement category. This could include the highest scoring 1) “red list” of species present with high risk of colliding with turbines based on studies completed to date (e.g., nesting Golden Eagles and migrating tree-dwelling bats), 2) an “orange list” of those species/groups considered to be at moderate risk based on published information, and 3) a “yellow list” of species/groups with a lower score based on a low risk of collision.

17 17 Reducing Subjectivity, cont.: o Maintain a flexible RAM such that new information can be included, e.g., new information on grouse avoidance of above-ground structures, and raptor predation on grouse, desert tortoise, and Burrowing Owl. o Maintain transparency by providing information for future reviewers to assess that will reduce the relative subjective nature of data input and review. o Provide and weight a screening tool for episodic events, especially those that would put birds or bats at serious risk of collision. These, for example, should include evidence of migratory fall-out along coastal areas, including from hurricanes and other inclement weather events, and a high magnitude of daily bird/bat movements.

18 18 Funding the Research: Funding from the Service’s Science Support Program was recently approved to develop and field test the RAM during the next year.Funding from the Service’s Science Support Program was recently approved to develop and field test the RAM during the next year. Dr. Douglas Johnson is the principal project investigator. He will work with the project collaborators and other specialists interested in fine-turning this project.Dr. Douglas Johnson is the principal project investigator. He will work with the project collaborators and other specialists interested in fine-turning this project. As a starting point, they will assess, review, update and modify – where necessary – the 3 checklists previously used in PII scoring (reference the Service’s voluntary guidelines for details), and will develop a new 4th checklist regarding temporal and spatial use of airspace.As a starting point, they will assess, review, update and modify – where necessary – the 3 checklists previously used in PII scoring (reference the Service’s voluntary guidelines for details), and will develop a new 4th checklist regarding temporal and spatial use of airspace. They will also evaluate the CEIA and other pertinent protocols.They will also evaluate the CEIA and other pertinent protocols.

19 19 A Checklist for Temporal and Spatial Airspace Use Checklist Information should include, but not necessarily be limited to: o relevant GIS data layers, e.g., the Whooping Crane migration corridor, Kirtland Warbler breeding habitat, staging and roosting areas, hibernacula, ridgeline features (e.g., passes or gaps) affecting migration, and the degree of cultivation and crop monoculture shown to reduce bird or bat presence at a site; o NEXRAD (Doppler) radar data – provided the beam coverage is appropriate for the site and “targets” are quantifiable (even if qualitative) – to better understand broad-front migration movements and use of stopover sites; o other radar data from modified marine radar studies in the area, profiling and pencil beam radar studies of flying vertebrate “targets;” o thermal imagery studies that help in identifying “target” levels and habitat use;

20 20 Temporal and Spatial Airspace Checklist, cont. 1: o landscape and site-specific gap analyses; o soil survey data on vegetative associations and their attraction to birds and bats; o habitat fragmentation evaluations in GIS and their airspace relationships, including a direct way to include fragmentation issues in a checklist; o State Heritage Program information on stopover sites and migrational pathways; o habitat suitability indices; o other information on “broad front” bird movements, raptor survey results, sensitive species surveys and assessments, migration corridor use, key bird stopover and staging areas; o data on bird and bat use of forest edges;

21 21 Temporal and Spatial Airspace Checklist, cont. 2: o bird and bat roosting sites; o bat maternity colonies and hibernacula; o datasets and results from bird and bat radio-telemetry studies; o site-specific information on wind speeds, wind gusts, cloud ceilings, precipitation, temperature, and the incidence of inclement weather that may indicate the temporal scale of a site can vary from minutes to hours as opposed to nightly or seasonally; o any information on blade wake turbulence, blade-tip vortices, and the wind wake phenomenon that has been shown to negatively affect birds, bats, or insects, especially related to the newer and larger/taller turbines operating under a variety of weather conditions; and o any other data sources that would be useful in developing a 4th checklist, let alone refining/modifying the previous 3. There should inherently be an ability to customize any of the checklists (e.g., PII’s Physical Attributes and Ecological Attractiveness lists) to fit a specific site.

22 22 Use of the RAM; Next Steps: Provided the previous information is available and user-friendly to those familiar w/ site assessment, the RAM should specifically include information from a proposed development site, or at a minimum, immediately adjacent to the site.Provided the previous information is available and user-friendly to those familiar w/ site assessment, the RAM should specifically include information from a proposed development site, or at a minimum, immediately adjacent to the site. The project investigators plan to develop, refine, and field test the RAM during the next year. In addition to refining the site ranking process, they will evaluate the use and utility of a “reference site” suggested in the PII.The project investigators plan to develop, refine, and field test the RAM during the next year. In addition to refining the site ranking process, they will evaluate the use and utility of a “reference site” suggested in the PII. Scoring and site-ranking will be re-examined and may be significantly modified based on previous recommendations.Scoring and site-ranking will be re-examined and may be significantly modified based on previous recommendations. Bird, bat, and habitat issues will be the key components of RAM protocol.Bird, bat, and habitat issues will be the key components of RAM protocol. These may be integrated into a single RAM calculation, or assessed separately for birds, bats and habitats, based on the review and field testing.These may be integrated into a single RAM calculation, or assessed separately for birds, bats and habitats, based on the review and field testing.

23 23 Using the RAM; Next Steps, cont:  Once a RAM is performed and a site ranking score is obtained – like the PII, CEIA, a hybrid, or some other related tool – information from that site should ultimately be made available to anyone for use in assessing future sites adjacent to the RAM-scored site(s).  Once the RAM is field-tested, fine-tuned, and ultimately adopted, training courses not unlike the electric utility “short courses” – used to instruct lines persons in avoiding and minimizing electrocutions and collisions at power lines – should be offered, ideally in collaboration between investigators and USFWS.  Training will help maintain consistency and continuity among reviews, spell out the requirements for qualified biologists, and overall benefit the process.

24 24 Part 2: A DECISION TREE/MATRIX/KEY for Performing Pre- and Post-construction Monitoring: The metrics and methods used to assess and rank sites and determine risk using pre- and post-construction monitoring vary greatly.The metrics and methods used to assess and rank sites and determine risk using pre- and post-construction monitoring vary greatly. Assessments will depend on the site being assessed, time available to conduct reviews, the project budget, the nature and scope of review (e.g., small project vs. large sites, voluntary vs. permit requirements), the qualifications of those individuals performing the review, and in some cases, the application by contractors of the wrong methodology and/or incorrect assumptions, or an incorrect application of the correct methodology.Assessments will depend on the site being assessed, time available to conduct reviews, the project budget, the nature and scope of review (e.g., small project vs. large sites, voluntary vs. permit requirements), the qualifications of those individuals performing the review, and in some cases, the application by contractors of the wrong methodology and/or incorrect assumptions, or an incorrect application of the correct methodology.  As many in the industry are aware, there is often a huge disconnect between the collection and use of pre- and post- construction datasets, and the integration between pre- and post-construction research and monitoring.

25 25 Using the Matrix to Align Research Efforts and Validate Hypotheses: The disconnect b/w the collection and use of pre- and post- construction datasets requires an effort to align and validate (or negate) datasets, a review of hypotheses developed involving risk, and review of any models being created to assess risk. This matrix will attempt to address these issues.The disconnect b/w the collection and use of pre- and post- construction datasets requires an effort to align and validate (or negate) datasets, a review of hypotheses developed involving risk, and review of any models being created to assess risk. This matrix will attempt to address these issues. Using the RAM as a preliminary assessment tool, the second part of this presentation briefly discusses the development of a “decision tree,” “matrix” or “key” (not unlike a key used to identify a particular plant or animal species) for determining, estimating, and validating risk. With limited funding and time constraints, during the upcoming year the matrix will not be included as part of the RAM development, but should be completed in the near future since the RAM and the matrix are closely aligned.Using the RAM as a preliminary assessment tool, the second part of this presentation briefly discusses the development of a “decision tree,” “matrix” or “key” (not unlike a key used to identify a particular plant or animal species) for determining, estimating, and validating risk. With limited funding and time constraints, during the upcoming year the matrix will not be included as part of the RAM development, but should be completed in the near future since the RAM and the matrix are closely aligned. Risk involves:Risk involves: 1)direct impacts such as mortality, population viability, additive mortality from cumulative impacts, and habitat loss; to 2)indirect impacts from site avoidance, disturbance, behavioral modification, and barrier effects that may be artifacts of site fragmentation or the result of other variables.

26 26 Intended Purpose of Matrix: The matrix is intended to be a “tool” to suggest what pre- and post- construction monitoring should be conducted, andThe matrix is intended to be a “tool” to suggest what pre- and post- construction monitoring should be conducted, and at what frequency, duration, and intensity of study should be conducted commensurate with the perceived level of risk at a site, or its lack thereof.at what frequency, duration, and intensity of study should be conducted commensurate with the perceived level of risk at a site, or its lack thereof.  Specifically, the matrix will serve as: o An abbreviated tool for investigators to review to better understand what research needs to be conducted at a site. o Since metrics and methods for ranking sites for pre- and post- construction are presently so different in their nature, scope, and objectives, the matrix will attempt to clearly distinguish these differences based on project objectives. o Lack of datasets and scientific site evidence in a RAM may suggest the need for further pre- and post-construction studies. This would be part of the decision analysis.

27 27 A Suggested Tiered Approach: The decision tree may suggest a tiered approach for assessing risk – e.g., ranging from 1 season of limited pre-construction surveys (i.e., tier 1 or minimum analysis) based on detailed studies previously conducted at adjacent sites, to 3 years of robust, full-season pre-construction monitoring at a high risk site (i.e., a tier 2 or even tier 3 extensive review).The decision tree may suggest a tiered approach for assessing risk – e.g., ranging from 1 season of limited pre-construction surveys (i.e., tier 1 or minimum analysis) based on detailed studies previously conducted at adjacent sites, to 3 years of robust, full-season pre-construction monitoring at a high risk site (i.e., a tier 2 or even tier 3 extensive review). The decision tree will be designed to align pre- and post- construction survey efforts. Inherently, post- construction monitoring – i.e., dead bird and bat searches and behavioral studies – should be tiered with and aligned to pre-construction risk determinations, especially if one purpose of a study is to validate (or negate) risk predictions.The decision tree will be designed to align pre- and post- construction survey efforts. Inherently, post- construction monitoring – i.e., dead bird and bat searches and behavioral studies – should be tiered with and aligned to pre-construction risk determinations, especially if one purpose of a study is to validate (or negate) risk predictions.

28 28 Pre- and Post-construction Monitoring: Pre-construction Monitoring:Pre-construction Monitoring: The type, duration and intensity of pre-construction study can vary considerably.The type, duration and intensity of pre-construction study can vary considerably. Surveys can range, for example, from a minimum of 3, 10-minute point counts for breeding birds,Surveys can range, for example, from a minimum of 3, 10-minute point counts for breeding birds, to raptor nest searches, bat acoustic monitoring, raptor and crane migration surveys, owl playback studies, nocturnal marsh bird assessments, bat mist netting, radar and thermal imagery studies – the latter representing much more detailed reviews.to raptor nest searches, bat acoustic monitoring, raptor and crane migration surveys, owl playback studies, nocturnal marsh bird assessments, bat mist netting, radar and thermal imagery studies – the latter representing much more detailed reviews. Post-construction Monitoring:Post-construction Monitoring: Post-construction surveys should be conducted in a consistent, standard, and uniform way,Post-construction surveys should be conducted in a consistent, standard, and uniform way, e.g., north-south-oriented transects every 5 m,e.g., north-south-oriented transects every 5 m, a search area base at least 2 times the diameter of the rotor swept area, anda search area base at least 2 times the diameter of the rotor swept area, and the use of standardized searcher efficiency and scavenger rate bias correction factors.the use of standardized searcher efficiency and scavenger rate bias correction factors. The project investigators developing this decision tree matrix will review these suggested monitoring tools.The project investigators developing this decision tree matrix will review these suggested monitoring tools.

29 29 Integrating the Matrix with Other “Tools:”  The matrix will be developed to closely align and integrate with: o The Kunz et al (J. Wildlife Management) guidance document for nocturnally active birds and bats; o The Anderson et al metrics and methods document for diurnally active fauna now being updated by a team of scientists, with publication anticipated in late 2009; o The Avian Power Line Interaction Committee’s (APLIC) 1994 decision tree for preventing and mitigating bird collisions published in Mitigating Bird Collisions at Power Lines now under contract for rewrite and update; o Decision analysis suggested in APLIC’s 2006 Suggested Practices for Avian Protection on Power Lines; o Decision analysis in guidance documents by Britain’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for offshore wind development;

30 30 Integrating with “Tools,” cont.: o Recommendations from studies such as Ranking Potential Impacts of Wind Resource Areas on Vertebrate Wildlife in Montana: a Strategy of Study and Monitoring Needs; o Disturbance sensitivity studies conducted on bird home ranges in Scotland found in A Bird Sensitivity Map to Provide Locational Guidance for Onshore Wind Farms in Scotland (RSPB Research Project Report 20, June 2006); o Efforts being undertaken by the Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee’s “Scientific Tools and Procedures Subcommittee,” and o from other current sources.

31 31 Next Steps and Concluding Thoughts: The RAM protocol is anticipated to be field-tested and validated/refined at several study sites around the country during the coming year. The matrix will be developed at a later date.The RAM protocol is anticipated to be field-tested and validated/refined at several study sites around the country during the coming year. The matrix will be developed at a later date. The decision tree matrix, once developed, should provide a generic, systematic, and consistent approach to suggesting what valid research protocols to use in conducting pre- and post-construction monitoring, and how they can be visualized and understood by anyone familiar with assessing risk at potential wind development sites.The decision tree matrix, once developed, should provide a generic, systematic, and consistent approach to suggesting what valid research protocols to use in conducting pre- and post-construction monitoring, and how they can be visualized and understood by anyone familiar with assessing risk at potential wind development sites. It is hoped that the RAM and ultimately the decision tree will “level the playing field” such that site assessment is conducted consistently at locations on a regional, local, and site-specific basis. The management implications are enormous.It is hoped that the RAM and ultimately the decision tree will “level the playing field” such that site assessment is conducted consistently at locations on a regional, local, and site-specific basis. The management implications are enormous.  While we acknowledge this effort is a significant undertaking, the need for consistency, validity, and alignment is great.

32 32 In Summary… The Service favors:The Service favors: –conservation of wildlife in the public trust; –development of renewable energy that is bird and bat friendly; and –use of informed decisions based on adequate environmental assessment and sound science. Thank you

33 33 Your Feedback, Please! Any questions, comments, recommendations, or suggestions from the audience?Any questions, comments, recommendations, or suggestions from the audience?


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