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Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic EIS
Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic EIS
Frequently Asked Questions

About Us

The Western Area Power Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will prepare the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic EIS.

The Western Area Power Administration (Western), Upper Great Plains Region, and Region 6 of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) have prepared the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic EIS, with assistance from Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne).

About the Western Area Power Administration

The Western Area Power Administration markets and delivers reliable, cost-based hydroelectric power and related services within a 15-state region of the central and western United States. Western is one of four power marketing administrations within the U.S. Department of Energy whose role is to market and transmit electricity from multi-use water projects. Western's transmission system carries electricity from 57 power plants operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the International Boundary and Water Commission. Together, these plants have an installed capacity of 10,395 megawatts.

The Upper Great Plains (UGP) Region is one of four regions within Western's jurisdiction. The UGP Region sells power in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota to wholesale customers such as towns; rural electric cooperatives; public utility and irrigation districts; federal, state, and military agencies; Native American tribes; investor-owned utilities; power marketers; the Bureau of Reclamation; and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Interior. The grassland and wetland easement program is administered by the National Wildlife Refuge System which is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The mission of the Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. The goals of the Refuge System are:

  1. Conserve a diversity of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats, including species that are endangered or threatened with becoming endangered.
  2. Develop and maintain a network of habitats for migratory birds, anadromous and interjurisdictional fish, and marine mammal populations that is strategically distributed and carefully managed to meet important life history needs of these species across their ranges.
  3. Conserve those ecosystems, plant communities, wetlands of national or international significance, and landscapes and seascapes that are unique, rare, declining, or underrepresented in existing protection efforts.
  4. Provide and enhance opportunities to participate in compatible wildlife-dependent recreation (hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and phot9ography, and environmental education and interpretation).
  5. Foster understanding and instill appreciation of the diversity and interconnectedness of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats.

The Service's Region 6, the Mountain-Prairie Region, includes an 8-state area including Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. The eastern portion of the region covers portions of the Great Plains, primarily the short-grass prairies, and the western portion includes the Rocky Mountains, and parts of the intermountain west beyond the Continental Divide.

Region 6 maintains a grassland and wetland easement program to support and enhance waterfowl populations in the Prairie Pothole Region, located in North Dakota, South Dakota, and eastern Montana. These "prairie potholes" and their surrounding grasslands are highly productive and support an incredible diversity of bird life. Once a vast grassland, this region is now an agrarian system dominated by cropland. Despite this land use change, millions of wetlands and large tracts of native prairie still remain. The Prairie Pothole Region is one of the most important migratory bird habitats in the Western Hemisphere.

About Argonne

Argonne National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. It is also the nation's first national laboratory, chartered in 1946. The Environmental Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory conducts applied research, assessment, and technology development in such areas as risk and waste management, natural resources, integrated assessments, restoration, pollution prevention, environmental policy analysis and planning, and environmental management.

The PEIS Team

The Agencies will use an interdisciplinary approach to consider the variety of resource issues and concerns, and to develop the PEIS. The PEIS team will include specialists with expertise in:

  • wind energy;
  • ecological resources;
  • visual resources;
  • noise;
  • land use;
  • cultural resources;
  • air quality;
  • outdoor recreation;
  • water resources;
  • soils and geology;
  • environmental justice; and
  • socioeconomics.

For More Information

For general questions about the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy PEIS Web site, contact the Webmaster at: plainswindeis@anl.gov

For further information on the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy PEIS, you can also contact:

Mr. Mark Wieringa
Western Area Power Administration
P.O. Box 281213
Lakewood, CO 80228-8213
Telephone (800) 336-7288; Fax (720) 962-7263
E-mail wieringa@wapa.gov

For information on the Service's participation in the PEIS, contact:

Mr. Kelly Hogan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, CO 80228-1807
Telephone (303) 236-4355
E-mail Kelly_Hogan@fws.gov