Bird and bat fatalities from wind energy projects are an environmental and public concern, with post-construction fatalities sometimes differing from predictions. Siting facilities in this context can be a challenge. In March 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released “Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines” to assess collision fatalities and other potential impacts to species of concern and their habitats to aid in siting and management. The Guidelines recommend a tiered approach for assessing risk to wildlife, including a preliminary site evaluation that may evaluate alternative sites, a site characterization, field studies to document wildlife and habitat and to predict project impacts, and post‐construction studies to estimate fatalities and other impacts and to better understand causes of adverse impacts or ineffective mitigation. We applied the tiered assessment framework to a case study site, the Mount Storm Wind Energy Facility in Grant County, West Virginia, USA, to demonstrate the use of the USFWS assessment approach, to indicate how the use of a tiered assessment framework might have altered outputs of wildlife assessments previously undertaken for the case study site, and to assess benefits of a tiered ecological assessment framework for siting wind energy facilities. For birds, the conclusions of this tiered assessment are similar to those of previous environmental assessments for Mount Storm. For bats, this assessment found risk to individual migratory tree-roosting bats that was not emphasized in previous preconstruction assessments. Differences compared to previous environmental assessments are related more to knowledge accrued in the past 10 years than to the tiered structure of the Guidelines. Benefits of the tiered assessment framework include good communication among stakeholders, clear decision points, a standard assessment trajectory, narrowing the list of species of concern, improving study protocols, promoting consideration of population-level effects, promoting adaptive management through post-construction assessment and mitigation, and sharing information that can be used in other assessments.