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United States

Land management bureau invites comments on land access guidelines

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a "Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States" that recommends accepting the agency's guidelines for wind development on its lands released in November 2002 (Windpower Monthly, December 2002). The draft environmental impact statement (EIS) assesses the environmental, social and economic impacts of wind development on public lands in 11 western states; it also evaluates alternatives for determining the best management approach for mitigating environmental impacts and facilitating wind development. BLM, which manages 251,000 square kilometres of range land in the Western US, is known for favouring ranching and petroleum and mineral exploration over environmental concerns. In 2002, however, it produced its wind development guidelines, setting rules that make it easier for wind developers to get access to its lands. BLM will accept written comments on the draft programmatic EIS until December 10.

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