The Importance of the Great Plains Wind HCP
The Great Plains Wind Energy HCP takes a regional approach to the protection of threatened and endangered species, offering significant conservation benefits by planning for species conservation at the landscape level over an extended timeframe. This comprehensive approach allows for identification of the most strategic areas for development and mitigation efforts, instead of a project-by-project approach that does not incorporate a strategic view of landscape level impacts and planning. The Plan Area was selected because it includes some of the most significant wind resources in the country, and as a result, has high potential for wind energy development in the coming years. The Service approval of the HCP and issuance of an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) will allow the WEWAG companies to responsibly develop these wind energy resources while proactively addressing the conservation needs of the species covered in the HCP. In addition to ensuring responsible development of a renewable energy source that creates no appreciable hazardous waste, uses no water, and does not produce greenhouse gases or other airborne pollutants or emissions in generating power, the benefits of the Great Plains Wind Energy HCP include:
- Provides a comprehensive and integrated approach for conservation of whooping cranes, lesser prairie-chickens, interior least terns, and piping plovers.
- Supports large-scale, efficient, effective, and predictable conservation measures.
- Defines a conservation approach that addresses changes in wildlife resource needs over time and space.
- Leverages conservation dollars from multiple entities to maximize conservation benefits.
- Provides an effective mechanism for evaluating and responding to cumulative impacts of development.
- Ensures that scientific rigor and the best available biological information are used to develop and maintain the conservation program.
- Clearly articulates biological goals and objectives, developed by species experts and scientists and supported by industry, federal and state wildlife agencies, and conservationists.
- Provides a mechanism for monitoring results of the conservation program, and the ability to adjust conservation measures to ensure ongoing effectiveness and compliance.
- Supports conservation measures to benefit the species through a long-term financial and legal commitment, ensuring they will be carried out.
For More Information
Download the Great Plains Wind Energy HCP Fact Sheet
See the USFWS HCP website
Visit the USFWS Endangered Species Webpage