The Panhandle Wind and Wildlife Conference on Aug. 8-9 in Amarillo is an effort to provide landowners with an impartial view of wind energy development, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service specialist.
AgriLife Extension, the Texas Wildlife Association and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are working together to offer the two-day conference at the Ambassador Hotel, 3100 W. Interstate 40, in Amarillo.
The program will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. and run through 5 p.m. on Aug. 8. The second day will also begin at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts, followed by an 8 a.m. departure for a tour of Wildorado Wind Ranch.
“Getting an impartial handle on all of the ins and outs, the pros and the cons, the advantages and disadvantages, is a daunting task,” said Ken Cearley, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist in Canyon.
The meeting is aimed at objectively educating landowners and the general public about the many issues associated with wind energy opportunities that should be considered before signing a contract, including the impacts on wildlife, Cearley said.
Some of the topics covered will be: the history and current state of wind energy; its future and viability; what is known about its impact on wildlife; power transmission issues; and land appraisals and the impact on real estate value by wind energy development.
Discussion panels will include landowners, operators and state-elected officials. Panels also will include representatives from universities, agricultural organizations, conservation organizations, the wind energy industry and state and federal agencies.
A visit to the Wildorado Wind Ranch will provide participants with an up-close introduction to the day-to-day operations of a wind-energy project, as well as what is involved in site determination and construction, Cearley said.
The fee is $75. To register, contact Kassi Scheffer at 800-839-9453 or [email protected].
For more information on the conference, contact Cearley at 806-651-5760 or [email protected]mu.edu.