Impact on Birds
According to the project's final EIS, the geographic limits of the Grand Canyon condor population as determined by FWS overlap the project's proposed footprint. Condor can fly up to 160 miles a day in searching for food, and the Grand Canyon "experimental" population is well within that range of the Mohave County Wind Farm.
"What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK," said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody, who helped prosecute the PacifiCorp power line case.
By not enforcing the law, the administration provides little incentive for companies to build wind farms where there are fewer birds.
Nearly all the birds being killed are protected under federal environmental laws, which prosecutors have used to generate tens of millions of dollars in fines and settlements from businesses, including oil and gas companies, over the past five years.
"What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK," said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody, Wyo.
In a decision swiftly condemned by conservationists and wildlife advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power's wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor during the expected 30-year life span of the project.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants exceptions to a wind farm and a building project in harassing or killing the endangered birds.
The slain young eagle was likely one of the six white-tailed eagles in a row, "said Pedersen, who follows bird migration in Skagen daily.
NAW has learned that West Butte Wind Power LLC has withdrawn its permit application enabling the developer to "take" golden eagles at a proposed wind project in central Oregon. ...the developer withdrew its take permit request in March due to the difficulty in finding a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the project.
A new study led by a U.S. Geological Survey biologist reaches a simple conclusion: Do not disturb the sage grouse.
Steve Knick's work shows that 99 percent of active leks, or breeding sites, are in areas with no more than 3 percent of the land disturbed by humans for uses such as roads, power lines, pipelines and communication towers.
"The lack of data is particularly troubling because it is just this sort of data from permit holders that permits the U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service to monitor the health of the eagle populations within the United States, the release notes. Despite lacking a permit, Bittner continued to capture and band 144 migratory birds in the region, including at least one female Golden Eagle.
Center for Biological Diversity partnered with Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife to sue the Board of Supervisors in March 2012, claiming the impact report did not incorporate enough protections for endangered birds like the golden eagle and California condor.
They also said the report did not consider a reasonable range of project alternatives, include enough mitigation measures, or adequately explain why the county rejected curtailment - shutting down turbines at certain times - as a way to reduce bird fatalities.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting an investigation after a golden eagle was killed in late February at the Spring Valley Wind Farm, about 300 miles north of Las Vegas. ...the wind farm could face a fine of up to $200,000 because it does not hold a federal "take" permit that would allow the incidental death of a golden or bald eagle.
Stafford said the matter is under investigation by the service's Office of Law Enforcement.
"What people need to understand is that it's not just prairie chickens. It's really the inter-connectedness of these biotic communities," Boal said. "When we have indicators like a prairie chicken, and there's something going wrong, that's an indication of that biotic community as a whole. We need to think about, ‘what is the world we want to live in?'
"If we continue to allow industry to displace and destroy our habitat, we are really looking at an environmental disaster in the long run. It is not just the tundra swans, it is the geese, it is the eagles," said Muriel Allingham of the Middlesex Lambton Wind Action Group.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the death of a golden eagle at a wind farm in Kern County, California, and is asking for local resident's help.
"Un-permitted take of eagles is the illegal take of eagles," Birchell said in the release. "We want power companies or any company involved in planning to build wind generation facilities in the Tehachapi range, where a significant golden eagle population exists, to contact the Service well in advance of construction and work with our biologists to develop conservation plans that will avoid take of eagles."
Twenty bald eagles a year could be killed by the spinning blades a company wants to build in Somerset County to harness the power of wind for cheap energy, federal wildlife officials say.
That's too much for Delmarva's eagle population to bear, said Sarah Nystrom, the Northeast region's bald and golden eagle coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
PUC chair Beverly Heydinger listed several hurdles. It's not clear whether the project's new ownership changes its status as a community-based energy development ...New Era's contract with Xcel Energy to purchase power is in question, as is its construction timeline. Nor is it clear that it can build the project and abide by restrictions to protect eagles that could be required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has calculated that the neighboring Pine Tree wind facility caused 11.8 bird fatalities per megawatt in the first year of monitoring; if North Sky River turns out to be of comparable hazard, that's about 3,500 birds per year counting on NextEra's good-faith hazard mitigation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering eliminating most public oversight of wind turbine impacts on protected bald and golden eagles by offering developers 30-year permits to kill eagles by accident, as opposed to the current 5-year permits. What's more, they're shaping the implementation of that proposed policy change in a series of private "stakeholders'" meetings to which the public is not invited.
North Sky River's developer NextEra and government agencies pushed forward with the project despite high wildlife mortality and the nearby Pine Tree wind project. The aim was to get North Sky River producing power by December 31 so that it could qualify for the federal Wind Production Tax Credit.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) called on the agency to suspend further consideration of a revised rule that would weaken protections provided to eagles pursuant to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, by allowing private companies to apply for an unprecedented 30-year permit to kill these iconic species.