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Renewable energy Detail view of solar panels at the Fuller Star solar project in Lancaster, California © Dave Lauridsen

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NGOs Applaud SLUPAC Endorsement of Smart from the Start Concept for Energy Planning in Nevada

The Nevada State Land Use Planning Advisory Council (SLUPAC) voted on Friday to endorse the concept of a smart from the start approach to energy planning in Nevada. SLUPAC is a Governor-appointed advisory council with representatives from each County in Nevada. They provide recommendations on land use and natural resource planning for the state. 

The SLUPAC endorsement letter states that a smart from the start approach “guides renewable energy development where appropriate to lands that are already impacted, close to existing transmission corridors, and away from important working lands and sensitive resources.” SLUPAC highlighted the need for agencies to coordinate and engage with local stakeholders, county governments, and Tribal Nations in energy planning decisions.

The endorsement is a welcome approach for state agencies as they fulfill their roles for advancing responsible, climate-friendly goals for development and conservation in Nevada. 

“With smart from the start energy planning, Nevada can deploy renewable energy infrastructure where it will have the least impact as possible to Nevada’s communities, lands, and wildlife,” said Bradley Crowell, Director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“There are many benefits to early coordination and planning, and it is especially essential for lessening the potential project impacts to Nevada’s wildlife,” said Tony Wasley, Director for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “We are very encouraged by SLUPAC’s endorsement of an early engagement strategy at this critical time.”

The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, and The Wilderness Society applaud the endorsement of a smart from the start approach to renewable energy planning in Nevada.  

...we know with smart planning, we can ensure that our renewable build out is sustainable and equitable for wildlife and communities. Thank you SLUPAC for recognizing this critical need for Nevada.

Nevada State Director, The Nature Conservancy

“Nevada is an amazing place, with abundant and diverse flora and fauna. As we experience increasing heat and drought, we have both an opportunity and obligation to be a refuge for nature," said Mauricia Baca, Nevada State Director at The Nature Conservancy. "At the same time, Nevada is at the cusp of a massive energy build out with more transmission and renewable generation infrastructure planned in the coming decade. The good news is that we know with smart planning, we can ensure that our renewable build out is sustainable and equitable for wildlife and communities. Thank you SLUPAC for recognizing this critical need for Nevada.”

“Nevada’s abundant renewable resources and unique and diverse wildlife mean that it’s critical that we protect nature and combat climate change with renewable energies, conservation and smart land use planning," said Joy Page, Director of Renewable Energy and Wildlife at Defenders of Wildlife. "This proactive approach will help Nevada meet its 30x30 goals by navigating its renewable future in sustainable and equitable ways that benefit both Nevada’s communities and its wildlife.”

Nevada’s smart from the start process enables the state to become a model in the West for developing renewable energy infrastructure to meet climate targets and grow an economy without sacrificing vital conservation goals," said Rhiannon Scanlon, Policy and Planning Specialist at The Wilderness Society. "At the same time, a smart approach must also ensure that economic and social costs and benefits from renewable energy buildout are shared equitably among all communities. We are grateful for SLUPAC’s leadership on this issue and look forward to the work ahead in Nevada.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.