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Doris Duke Charitable Foundation awards $3.1 million to facilitate "wildlife-friendly" renewable energy development in the United States

Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Wilderness Society team up to promote responsible renewable energy development while protecting wildlife and ecosystems

NEW YORK (06/24/2010) -

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced today a grant totaling nearly $3.1 million over three years to support a project aimed at promoting wildlife-friendly and environmentally-responsible renewable energy development. The grant will provide support to Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Wilderness Society.

"The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is proud to support this effort to craft a national vision of how to reconcile the needs of wildlife with increased renewable energy production," said Andrew Bowman, director of the foundation's Environment Program. "The ultimate objective should be a uniform, predictable and proactive approach to renewable energy siting and to land conservation that protects wildlife and wildlands while allowing renewable energy production to ramp up quickly."

The grant will increase the capacity and coordination of the three organizations to inform various administrative and legislative processes related to renewable energy siting. Jim Lyons, who served as U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment during the Clinton administration and most recently as a lecturer and research scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, has joined Defenders of Wildlife to lead the project as the senior director for renewable energy.

"Renewable energy decreases our nation's reliance on fossil fuels and helps to reduce global warming, one of the biggest threats to wildlife and biodiversity worldwide," said Defenders of Wildlife president Rodger Schlickeisen. "This grant will help ensure that wildlife conservation has a strong voice in the development of national policy for renewable energy at a time when the environmental, economic and human costs of our continued addiction to fossil fuels have become all too apparent. We are very grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for this support."

"Renewable energy is vitally important to recharge our country's economy, move us to clean energy and address the challenge of global warming," said Natural Resources Defense Council president Frances Beinecke. "We are grateful to have the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to expand our ongoing work to identify appropriate places for renewable energy projects while protecting our diverse wildlife, unique wildlands and fragile ecosystems."

"The Gulf disaster gives us a tragic reminder of why the transition to renewable energy is so essential, and this generous grant will enhance ongoing efforts to ensure that needed new renewable energy facilities tread lightly on our public lands," said The Wilderness Society president William Meadows. "Smart planning should put wind, solar and geothermal in the right places, avoiding sensitive wildlands and wildlife habitat."


Learn more about Defenders' renewable energy program.


James Navarro, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0247
Valerie Jaffee, NRDC, (415) 875-6106
Jennifer Dickson, The Wilderness Society, (202) 556-2933

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. www.ddcf.org