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An Ecological Risk Assessment of Wind Energy Development in Montana

Published: January 2009

montana wind energy report
Wind energy development has progressed with very little science-based policy analysis to examine costs of biodiversity impacts, or for that matter, state or local regulation applicable to similar development of this magnitude. Proper siting of wind energy facilities is key to reducing potential impacts and conflict. Towards this end, we have completed an ecological risk assessment, using broad-scale habitat information, as well as fine-scale data for 30 wildlife species of concern, selecting for those that research suggests would be the most susceptible to the impacts from windenergy development. Of the 17-million acres in Montana with high wind potential, more than 9-million acres appear to pose relatively low risk to resident wildlife. Of that, more than 4-million acres are already developed as cropland.

Photo: ©Kenton Rowe