Text from the Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan, 2008, Page 43
Federal agencies will collaborate with state and tribal governments through the Healthy Lands Initiative to:
This challenge of achieving energy independence while enhancing wildlife habitat has grown as innovations have enabled energy development in nearly any state, encountering nearly any type of wildlife or habitat.
The challenge differs somewhat by region. The West holds the largest onshore natural gas reserves in the nation, much of which is under federal public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, which also hosts some of the best game and nongame wildlife habitats. These values must be balanced under the long-established federal doctrine of multiple use. This means confronting the long-established fact that the complex, cumbersome, and contentious decision making process makes striking a balance very difficult and makes prospects uncertain both for wildlife and energy development.
In the East, recently-combined techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have substantially increased natural gas extraction on both public and private lands. Some of the same public-land process obstacles apply here and, on private lands, the overall footprint of development is hard to coordinate across the many generally smaller landholdings on which companies and landowners are making individual decisions. As a result, there is no single means of managing the risks at extraction sites and sand mines with their associated infrastructures which can degrade wildlife habitats across broad landscapes.
Great Plains grassland and other regions with high potential for wind energy also provide valuable habitats – some for federally listed species, such as the Attwater’s prairie chicken that thrive in large blocks of unfragmented habitat. Wind turbines or large solar arrays placed here can seriously impair the value of these habitats.
Based upon a letter written by the WHHCC in February, 2013, it is apparent that the Council believes that not enough collaboration is occurring between federal, state and tribal governments.