This article summarizes American Bird Conservancy’s (ABC’s) strategies and goals for achieving Bird-Smart wind energy in the United States. We describe the current and projected impact of wind energy development on birds and bats in the United States. We also discuss how bird (and bat) conservation goals could be made more compatible with wind energy development through improved science and regulation. We provide examples of poorly sited wind energy projects, existing and proposed, which call into question the efficacy of current voluntary federal permitting guidelines. We discuss the need for improved transparency and independent site-by-site pre-construction risk assessment, science-based decision-making, independent collection and reporting of post-construction bird (and bat) fatality data, and consideration of cumulative impacts.

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