Solar panels.
Oregon Department of Transportation, flickr
The Wilderness Society works to ensure that renewable energy development on public lands occurs in the right places and in the right ways.

What does mitigation mean?

All renewable energy and transmission development on public land leaves a footprint. Mitigation refers to reducing these impacts. Specifically we're working to lessen the impacts of development by:

  • Avoiding impacts in the first place by guiding wind and solar to low conflict areas and protecting special wildlands and wildlife habitat from development of any kind
  • Minimizing impacts at the project site. This could include avoiding construction during wildlife migration periods and building projects next to already existing infrastructure like roads and transmission lines
  • Offsetting any impacts that cannot be avoided or minimized. This should include the protection or restoration of nearby lands and wildlife habitat

By following the steps of avoiding sensitive areas, reducing impacts on project sites and offsetting unavoidable impacts, renewable energy development on public lands can limit impacts while providing clean energy benefits.

What we are doing

To enact strong mitigation requirements for renewable energy on public lands, the Wilderness Society is working in collaboration with:

  • Government agencies, including the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management
  • Wind and solar developers
  • Conservation partners at regional and national organizations

How we accomplish this work

The Wilderness Society is striving to ensure we mitigate development of transmission lines and wind and solar energy on public lands by siting projects in the right places and with the right practices, and creating new tools to offset impacts. Our work to date has focused on:

  • Advocating for sensitive areas to be avoided in the first place and protected from future threats. This is the cheapest and most effective form of mitigationWorking with the Department of the Interior to modernize its approach to mitigation
  • Engaging with the Bureau of Land Management as it develops proactive strategies for mitigating impacts from development in Solar Energy Zones
  • Meeting with local conservation partners and wind and solar developers to strengthen mitigation practices for individual projects

Mitigating the impacts from transmission lines and wind and solar development will allow our country to develop the clean energy we need while still safeguarding wildlands for future generations.

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