Impact on Wildlife
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
Your [Boston Globe] front page headline of March 29, "Audubon review supports wind farm" was a rush to judgment according to Vernon Lang, supervisor of Fish and Wildlife’s New England field office, the agency lead official on the Cape Wind proposal. Editor's Note: This letter has been submitted to the Boston Globe.
The state currently has no requirements for environmental studies of wind turbine sites. We need a law requiring wildlife surveys before and after the installation of wind turbines. Places with high populations of vulnerable wildlife should be avoided.
There seems to be no good way to properly site these turbines on unspoiled Appalachian mountains without causing irreparable damage. The State Corporation Commission has an opportunity to do the right thing by heeding the growing warnings about negative, cumulative effects its own experts are offering.
How is the legal and moral requirement for the protection of our wildlife, in this instance Brolgas, reconciled with the certainty that they will be displaced and or killed by the turbines of this wind farm? Editor's Note:This letter has appeared in several Australian newspapers.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Brolga, and many other birds, are at a great risk and would be killed by the Macarthur wind farm if it were to go ahead. Its time to give our native companions a fair go.Editor's Note: This letter has appeared in several Australian papers.
Wind power as the alternative source of power generation seems to be breaking through as everybody's darling.
General Electric is investing heavily in it. President Bush, having lately discovered that America is addicted to oil, is supporting the admittedly clean energy that comes from wind turbines, and the environmental community loves windmills.
Are we perhaps getting too far ahead of ourselves by uncritically embracing wind turbines?
As a boat angler who haunts Nantucket Sound, I'm especially concerned about its fish resources. Yet whenever I have sought solace from Cape Wind and the Corps in the form of cogent answers to my questions, I've gotten only what they hope to harness--wind.
Juniata Valley Audubon asks concerned residents to contact Gov. Ed Rendell, their senators and representatives and the Department of Environmental Protection to voice their displeasure over the gross waste of almost $400,000 to study a proposal that would cause so much harm to both outdoor recreation and wildlife, and provide only minuscule amounts of expensive, unreliable electricity.
It all sounds nice and crunchy on the surface, but Whole Foods might soon find itself picketed the same way Wal-Mart is, but instead of unions it'll be environmentalists.
The Nantucket Sound region is a fragile marine environment on the active list under consideration for sanctuary status by the federal government. Nantucket Sound exists in the North Atlantic Flyway. It is a habitat to endangered species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
My viewpoint was, and still is, that the huge towers (260 feet high), gigantic blades (add another 150 feet), blinking strobe lights, permanent removal of wind-hindering vegetation, and highly visible road and transmission infrastructures are totally inappropriate for wild, undeveloped, scenic and highly visible settings. And I said I thought that opponents should focus on those issues, as well as the small return in electricity for the massive public price paid, aesthetically and otherwise, and should perhaps stay away from the issue of bird mortality caused by the rapidly spinning blades. The jury is still out on that, I said, and conventional wisdom is that vastly more birds are killed by high-rise windows and free-running cats......Well, so much for conventional wisdom.
Editor's Note This opinion piece was written in response to a letter received from Lisa Linowes that is available via the link below.
The costs are “the loss of the mountains,” said Dr. Dain Trafton of Phillips, Maine, speaking for the friends group to the Original Irregular newspaper. “Is it worthwhile introducing this huge industrial plant into these beautiful mountains when, in fact, very little power will be produced, very few emissions will be avoided, and very little economic benefit will come to the area?”
In your column, you state bird mortality is a subject that wind energy opponents should stand down from. However, there is good reason for us to continue to shed light on this problem. To our knowledge, no commercial scale wind facility in the United States has been subject to pre-construction avian risk assessments that included remote sensing (radar or acoustical).
Editor's Note: Mr. Harrigan's reponse to this letter is available via the link below.
This is where the Buffalo Harbor Development Commission, the Niagara Greenway Commission and Higgins' waterfront planning come into play. It is essential that the NRIBA designation is understood and addressed by all planning agencies and decisions. It is critical that the threats to the area are understood and addressed. Appropriate development that recognizes both the fragility of the area and the global conservation consequences related to its stewardship and development should become a baseline indicator from which all planning grows.
Editor's Note: With at least five test towers already standing, wind developers in concert with local advocates are attempting to install hundreds of industrial wind turbines in the Niagara region. The threat to this fragile area is real. Both of the photos included in the text are available in the NWW photo library as Birdland on the Niagara 1 & 2.
The agency has informed the Public Service Board that the agency cannot make the legally required finding of no "undue adverse effect on ...the natural environment," including birds and bats, because there is insufficient evidence to support such a conclusion. The developer has not conducted the wildlife studies requested by the agency for over two years that would provide baseline data on the numbers of birds and bats that migrate over the project site.
Apower company's repeated refusals to provide wildlife studies for its proposed wind development on a mountain in the Northeast Kingdom should send a clear message to Vermont regulators.
Do not approve this project.
But that is precisely where the debate begins. Do large wind power facilities actually reduce the effects of fossil fuel use? Opponents look at the evidence -- instead of the industry's sales material -- and find that they do not. Therefore even the most downplayed impact is not justified.
My experience with the Bald Hills wind farm has highlighted what I believe to be a general failure in the application of the laws. The consequence is that many species that are supposed to be protected are not. I have provided a couple of examples below however it would be easy to select more. This failure to respond properly to wildlife protection laws could be occurring on other impact assessments for other types of projects proposed at other locations throughout Victoria.
There is less than 4% of native tallgrass prairie left in North America, and two-thirds of it is right here. Once you have experienced the spaciousness and exceptional beauty of open native grasslands, you know there is nothing in the world quite like it. These native grasslands are truly a national as well as a Kansas treasure.
Although my research started with the visual and spatial aspects of WECSs, and continues to be focused on WECSs effects on “landscape character” i.e. impacts on the spatial environment, with implications for cultural values and social systems of our region. I am equally concerned about the predictable negative effects of WECSs on the natural systems of the Flint Hills. I am concerned about serious cumulative effects and the degradation of:
the visual character of our environment;
the social fabric of communities that are facing the prospect of WECS-C;
the health of biological, ecological components of our regional ecosystem; and the
long term viability of our local, increasingly “nature-based” economy.