UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, DC 20240
http://www.blm.gov
March 7, 2011
 
In Reply Refer To:
6500 (230) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 03/15/2011
Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-084
Expires: 09/30/2012
 
To:                   All State Directors (except Eastern States)
                                                                                               
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
 
Subject:           Request for Comments on Fish and Wildlife Service Draft Wind Energy Guidelines and Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance     DD: 04/29/11
 
Program Area: Fish and Wildlife.
 
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to solicit the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) field office comments on the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Draft Wind Energy Guidelines and Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance. The notice of their availability for official public review and comment was published in the Federal Register on February 18, 2011. 
 
Policy/Action: States are directed to review and submit consolidated comments on the guidance documents to the Director, Attention: WO230. The Draft Wind Energy Guidelines document can be found at:
http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/docs/Wind_Energy_Guidelines_2_15_2011FINAL.pdf.
 
The Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance document can be found at:
http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/docs/ECP_draft_guidance_2_10_final_clean_omb.pdf.
 
Your comments will help provide the most comprehensive feedback for cooperative work with the FWS and help ensure compliance with regulations, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), 16 U.S.C. 703, Executive Order 13186 (Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds; January 10, 2001) and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act), including its implementing regulations (i.e., September 11, 2009, Eagle Rule (Rule) 50 CFR parts 13 and 22).
 
Timeframe: The deadline for responding to this request is April 29, 2011.
 
Budget Impact: There should be minimal budget impact, in the form of staff time, to review and submit comments on the documents.
 
Background:  In July 2003, the FWS released a set of voluntary, interim guidelines for reducing adverse effects to fish and wildlife resources from wind energy projects.  Following a FWS review of public comments, the Secretary of the Interior established a Federal Advisory Committee to provide recommendations to revise the guidelines related to land-based wind energy facilities.  The Committee submitted its final Recommended Guidelines to the Secretary of the Interior on March 4, 2010.  Through an internal working group, the recommendations were reviewed and voluntary Draft wind energy guidelines were developed. The Draft Wind Energy Guidelines address wildlife conservation and MBTA compliance.
 
In addition to MBTA compliance, the BLM is also subject to the legal requirements for bald and golden eagle conservation and protection under the Eagle Act (as amended). The Eagle Act’s implementation regulations included a definition of the term “disturb” (a form of take), and outlined an incidental take permit process. To guide compliance with the Eagle Act, the FWS published “Eagle Permits; Take Necessary to Protect Interest in Particular Localities; Final Rules” (Rule) in the Federal Register on September 11, 2009. The Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance document is intended to help Federal, state, and private individuals conduct business and permit other activities while determining the need for application of take permits. It also minimizes the need for application of take permits through application of conservation measures during implementation of those other activities. 
 
Prior to the publishing of this draft guidance, BLM provided interim guidance on golden eagle coordination procedures with FWS via IM 2010-156, dated July 9, 2010.   
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
 
Coordination: This policy was coordinated with the BLM’s Minerals and Realty Management Directorate and the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
 
Contact: Dwight Fielder, Chief, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, WO230 at 202-912-7230, or Dwight_Fielder@blm.gov.
 
 
Signed by:                                                        Authenticated by:
Lynda L. Boody                                                Robert M. Williams
Acting, Assistant Director                                 Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
 
 
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