The Great Plains, long known for its agricultural products, is attracting new industries to the region that provide jobs and other economic benefits and address our nation’s need for energy. Some of these industries, such as wind power, also address the larger impact of climate change on wildlife. The Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) believes a proactive and collaborative approach is the best way to share knowledge and guide development for long-term wildlife conservation.
At PLJV, we create state-of-the-art maps and decision support tools to help our partners evaluate information in order to make effective, efficient decisions about conservation delivery. Many of the same tools that PLJV uses for biological planning can be adapted to help energy developers site new projects to minimize impacts to birds and their habitats, including the following:
- Energy Development Siting Recommendations for Playas, which take a precautionary approach around playas by advising that all energy development and associated infrastructure avoid playa clusters
- Interactive playa map that allows users to explore the playa region and investigate playas, wind farms, and other features of the landscape; sort data by criteria you specify; upload your own shapefile to view a boundary on the map; and print what you see on the screen
In some cases, where the impact cannot be avoided, these planning tools can be used to design workable offsets and mitigation. For more information on how PLJV can help your industry during the planning process — by providing or adapting current maps and tools or developing new ones for specific needs — contact PLJV Coordinator Mike Carter or Conservation Science Director Anne Bartuszevige at 303-926-0777.
If you are looking for information about specific species and ecosystems in Colorado and New Mexico, you can also visit the Southern Plains Wind and Wildlife Planner.