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Jim Estep

Jim Estep is a wildlife biologist with experience in wind energy-avian issues dating back to the late 1980s. Currently, he owns Estep Environmental Consulting, where he works with industry and local governments on biological issues related to wind resource development. Jim brings the SRC a background working in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, knowledge of wind energy siting issues and turbine technology, experience with the avifauna of the Altamont Pass, understanding of the wind energy-avian collision and electrocution issue, the applicable state and federal laws and regulations, and experience working closely with the wind energy industry, local governments, landowners, environmental groups, and the regulatory agencies. Following his undergraduate degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of California at Davis in 1984, Estep worked for the California Department of Fish and Game conducting surveys statewide for a variety of threatened, endangered and other special-status wildlife species. Among these was a statewide survey of nesting Golden Eagles, which included much of what is now the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. In 1988, under contract to the California Energy Commission, he gathered and summarized existing data on bird mortality at large wind energy facilities and prepared the initial CEC report that led to several extensive field studies in the Altamont and other large wind resource areas in California. In 1989, Estep joined the staff of the consulting firm of Jones & Stokes where he served for 16 years as a senior wildlife biologist, Associate Principal, and Team Leader of the firm?s natural resources team. During this time, he was under contract to several wind energy companies to examine wildlife resource issues and to assess the effects of proposed wind energy facilities in California, Oregon, and Washington. This work included feasibility studies to identify risk potential, CEQA and NEPA assessments, pre- and post-construction wildlife surveys, and designing and conducting pre-project avian monitoring studies. In 1997, he worked with Alameda County to prepare the EIR to repower a portion of the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. Since then, Estep has continued to work with the industry, local governments, and the regulatory agencies to address and help resolve issues related to wind energy development and biological resources, including avian mortality.


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