My colleagues Heath Curtiss and Sarah Stauffer Curtiss are reviewing the final directives for US wind energy special use authorizations that the Forest Service issued today. Here’s their brief update, which will be followed by a more detailed energy law alert:

Nearly five years after issuing its draft directives, on August 4, 2011, the U.S. Forest Service issued final directives for wind energy special use authorizations. The new directives supplement existing Forest Service guidance on wildlife and special uses, but specifically address issues associated with the permitting and siting of wind energy facilities. Key components of the new directives can be found in a new chapter, “Wind Energy Uses,” in the Special Uses Handbook and a new chapter, “Monitoring at Wind Sites,” in the Wildlife Monitoring Handbook. Generally speaking, the Forest Service modeled its wind energy directives after the Bureau of Land Management Instruction Memoranda on wind energy development. There are, however, key differences, including, for instance, significantly greater potential for competitive bidding and substantially more explicit wildlife monitoring requirements. See the Federal Register notice here:

Please read our legal update for more information.