WIND PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
Seeing the Big Picture
August-September 2011 (American Wind Wildlife Institute)
"Wind energy siting decisions require complex information that can overwhelm the decision-making process. Computerized tools are being developed that collate, overlay, and display a wide variety of information in visual, map-based form. These tools provide information that is widely applicable to landscape-level and regional assessment, allowing wind energy developers and advocates to anticipate potential environmental risks earlier in the wind siting planning process.
"AWWI has commissioned development and testing of one such resource, the Landscape Assessment Tool (LAT), with The Nature Conservancy and with input from industry and environmental partners…"
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"[I]t is a general screening tool using publicly available data to provide up-to-date information about the environmental characteristics and important landscape-level wildlife values of a geographic area…
"The LAT will be most useful in offering early guidance about possible sensitivity of a site within a larger landscape context, and in identifying sensitive wildlife habitat and areas likely to have low wildlife risk. It will also be useful in the development of conservation plans, monitoring plans, and mitigation strategies…"