As the United States rightfully strives for greater energy independence and security, wildlife populations and other natural resources are being subjected to increased pressures. The fast expansion of renewable energy options, including wind, solar, and biomass, has made it difficult for natural resource managers to stay ahead of the politics and economics that has driven industrial development of these resources. Enviroscapes recognizes the need to work with industry, government, economists, and the public in addressing these concerns. We have taken a “win-win” approach to our consulting services; if the options presented are not economically or politically viable, natural resources will not be able to compete with this rapidly expanding market. Therefore, we strive to integrate both economically and environmentally sustainable use of natural resources into the decision-making process by using the best available science and education people to the value of our natural resources, which cannot always be measured in dollars and cents. We work together to help communities find the most parsimonious solutions to our renewable energy issues whether it be wind, solar, biomass, or any other energy sector.
As an example, National Wildlife Federation recently contracted Enviroscapes Ecological Consulting to assist with the development of “Best Management Guidelines” for bioenergy production using perennial grasses native to the central U.S. Our goal was to propose realistic guidelines to protect wildlife resources that can be used by industry and producers as the market moves closer to large-scale production of cellulosic biomass for heat and ethanol production. We worked with agronomists, biologists, and managers to develop these guidelines, and the guidelines went through an additional external review that included industry stakeholders. During the entire process we developed a network of collaborators that included academics, industry, extension specialists, natural resource managers, producers, and others. Open communications and collaboration are key to developing successful and useful products and this is an area where Enviroscapes truly thrives! How can our experiences help you and your clients on similar projects? Give us a call!