Chances are that most sportsmen do not spend much time thinking about energy development. But whether you know it or not, hunters and anglers have much at stake when it comes to our energy resources, including renewable sources such as wind.
As head of the TRCP’s energy program, it is my job to carry the sportsman’s voice in the energy development processes. My objective in this is clear: to ensure our nation’s energy needs are balanced with those of sportsmen.
Sportsmen should be encouraged that renewable resources like wind have shown so much promise. With clean-up still underway on the tail of the three-year-anniversary of the BP oil spill, many in the conservation community are encouraged by the forward momentum on renewable resources.
The concern for sportsmen is that the rush to develop and bring renewable energy resources to the market will negatively impact fish and wildlife and result in loss of access for hunters and anglers.
As with traditional forms of energy development like oil and natural gas, renewable resources must be developed and implemented with what the administration calls a “smart from the start” mentality. The TRCP, along with Trout Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation, head up the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development – a coalition dedicated to bringing balance to oil and gas development.
SFRED lays out 10 considerations for developing renewable energy on public lands. They are as follow:
- Give sportsmen a voice in decision making.
- Protect roadless backcountry, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and local and state public lands.
- Conserve important fish and wildlife habitat.
- Consult with state fish and wildlife officials first.
- Rely on the latest science.
- Strengthen the permitting and leasing process.
- Monitor impacts to fish, wildlife and water.
- Mitigate damage and reclaim affected land and water.
- Comply with all relevant environmental laws.
- Hold industry accountable for development costs. This includes monitoring and mitigation costs.
When applied, these principles ensure that renewable energy development can be compatible with the needs of fish, wildlife and hunters and anglers.
The TRCP’s energy program will continue to carry the sportsman’s voice in land-use planning and policy debates so that all forms of energy are balanced. We will call on you to speak up when it matters.
Watch the video below and visit the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development website to learn more.