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FWS officials fear wind towers will kill whooping cranes

With wind energy towers rising around the state, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials worry about rare whooping cranes that pass through on their migration route betweem Canada and Texas. Representatives of the Fish and Wildlife Service plan a meeting this week with the North Dakota Public Service Commission and a separate meeting with officials of some 30 wind companies working in the Great Plains. They want to discuss a habitat conservation plan for the big white birds. "It's on the table now because we're seeing such a rapid increase in the number and size of wind power projects.

With wind energy towers rising around the state, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials worry about rare whooping cranes that pass through on their migration route betweem Canada and Texas.

Representatives of the Fish and Wildlife Service plan a meeting this week with the North Dakota Public Service Commission and a separate meeting with officials of some 30 wind companies working in the Great Plains. They want to discuss a habitat conservation plan for the big white birds.

"It's on the table now because we're seeing such a rapid increase in the number and size of wind power projects. The pace has really increased in the last year," said Jeffrey Towner, a supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service in North Dakota.

Florida-based FPL Energy plans to install 667 turbines across the hills of Oliver and Morton counties starting in 2010. The counties are on the Coteau flyway angling north to south.

The giant wind turbine blades are less of a problem than the transmission lines that go along with them, Towner said.

The whooping cranes, which are under federal protection, have made a comeback since the 1940s. The colony that passes through North Dakota is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

With wind energy towers rising around the state, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials worry about rare whooping cranes that pass through on their migration route betweem Canada and Texas.

Representatives of the Fish and Wildlife Service plan a meeting this week with the North Dakota Public Service Commission and a separate meeting with officials of some 30 wind companies working in the Great Plains. They want to discuss a habitat conservation plan for the big white birds.

"It's on the table now because we're seeing such a rapid increase in the number and size of wind power projects. The pace has really increased in the last year," said Jeffrey Towner, a supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service in North Dakota.

Florida-based FPL Energy plans to install 667 turbines across the hills of Oliver and Morton counties starting in 2010. The counties are on the Coteau flyway angling north to south.

The giant wind turbine blades are less of a problem than the transmission lines that go along with them, Towner said.

The whooping cranes, which are under federal protection, have made a comeback since the 1940s. The colony that passes through North Dakota is known as the largest of three in the nation.

 


Source: http://www.grandforksherald...

JUL 13 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/15940-fws-officials-fear-wind-towers-will-kill-whooping-cranes
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