Wyoming has world-class wildlife and wildland values that deserve protection, with some of the last intact and functioning ecosystems in the United States. At the same time, it has outstanding wind power resources that need to be developed so we can reduce our fossil fuel consumption. This generation has the opportunity to do wind energy development smart from the start, and the key to successful development will be siting wind power in areas capable of sustaining wind farms.
Wind power development offers a clean, renewable source of electricity that could help to replace fossil fuels, which contribute air pollution and exacerbate the problem of global climate change. As interest in constructing utility-scale wind power facilities increases, siting decisions that allow wind power development in such a way that protects special landscapes and sensitive wildlife is to the mutual benefit of wind power companies, government entities, local communities, and the larger public.
This report maps the location of sensitive wildlife habitats and landscapes sensitive to wind developments. Some of these categories of land are sufficiently sensitive to merit the exclusion of wind energy development, while other categories would permit wind energy development if certain best practices are implemented. By overlaying the various sensitive land types, a picture emerges showing where wind power development should be avoided (marked in red on the maps), where it could proceed with caution (mapped in yellow), and the areas lacking land use conflicts where it should be encouraged (marked in green).