Best Management Practices (BMPs) provide science-based criteria and standards that land managers and conservation planners follow in making and implementing decisions about human uses and projects that affect our natural resources. BMPs are usually developed based on legal obligations, pragmatic experience, and institutional practices, and should be supported by the best available scientific knowledge.
Up until now, conservation advocates have lacked a comprehensive set of sciencebased Best Management Practices they could systematically bring to land managers, renewable energy developers and the public process that are designed to minimize the adverse impacts of wind and solar energy development projects on wildlife and wildlife habitat. This document draws from over one hundred other scientific studies, renewable energy development guidance documents and other published BMPs in order to bring the best conservation science to the process of wisely choosing wind and solar energy sites, as well as the permitting, construction and operation of renewable facilities destined for wild places.
These BMPs are organized according to the needs of sage grouse, raptors, other birds, bats, general wildlife (not covered by the first 5 categories), and soil/vegetation/site hydrology. Within each of these categories the BMPs are broken down into siting BMPs, pre-construction BMPs, construction BMPs, and monitoring BMPs. These BMPs also give guidance about how to address renewable energy development within the context of public land-use planning. The role of adaptive management in renewable energy planning, monitoring, research and mitigation is also featured, as well as areas that need further research. This document should offer sound guidance for all stages of wind and solar energy development in the West, from siting, permitting, construction, operation, monitoring, and mitigation.