USF&WS Letter to Nebraska Public Power District re. Possible Threats Posed by Ainsworth Wind Plant to Wildlife
The attached pdf file contains a letter written by Steve Anschutz, Nebraska Field Supervisor of the USF&WS, to Rockford Plettner, Environmental Specialist Water/Natural Resources of Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). The letter responds to a NPPD request for input regarding the possible construction of a wind farm south of Ainsworth, Brown County, Nebraska. The letter's comments are provided as technical assistance and predevelopment consultation....
However, wind energy facilities can adversely impact wildlife, especially birds and bats. As more facilities with larger turbines are built, the cumulative effects of this rapidly growing industry may initiate and contribute to the decline of some wildlife populations. The Potential harm to these populations from an additional source of mortality makes careful evaluation of proposed facilities essential.
…we have determined that the following federally listed and candidate species may occur within or in the vicinity of the Brown County study area…..Bald eagle….Whooping crane…American burying beetle….Western prairie fringed orchid…Bowout penstemon….
The Service is concerned about the potential loss of eagles and migratory birds associated with the windpower turbine industry…..
During each migration, millions of migratory birds, representing over 400 species, cross Nebraska. Consequently, the presence of large wind turbine generators would be a potential collision hazard to these birds. In addition to the federally listed bald eagle, migratory, nesting, and wintering raptors such as the peregrine falcon, golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, and northern harrier are likely to occur within the study area.
Migratory and resident bird species are often attracted to wetland habitats. Since there appears to be an abundance of wetlands within the study area, we have enclosed a National Wetland inventory map showing the location of various wetland types.