Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from California
BLM, which must grant a right-of-way approval in order for the project to be built on 280 acres of federal land, considered a number of alternatives to the project before determining that reducing the number of turbines from 138 to 76 would save more golden eagles. ...But Iberdrola Renewables is "not even entertaining".
A wind farm proposed for the eastern reaches of San Diego County would result in bird deaths - including those of the golden eagle - damaged vistas and Indian sites and construction-related noise and air pollution, a draft environmental report has found. The best way to reduce the impact would be to shrink the Tule Wind farm to 72 turbines from the 134 proposed, and to re-route some of the related transmission lines, according to the study.
Two ridgetop windmill research towers will rise north of Dillon Beach following a green light from county supervisors. The county board voted 4-0 to reject an recommendation from the Planning Commission that more study be conducted to determine whether the facilities could trigger a bird slaughter.
The controversy surrounding wind farms in America has been brewing for over 25 years. The debate centers around the use of the deadly propeller style wind turbines and the large death toll to what are supposedly protected species. One of these species, the federally protected golden eagle, has been at the forefront of this debate from the beginning. This is for good reason, because at Altamont Pass California, 50-75 golden eagles have been killed each year in the blades of the prop wind turbine.
Protecting habitat of endangered or threatened species, such as the desert tortoise, is a major obstacle for energy companies, which could lose out on federal stimulus money if their projects aren't ready to go before the end of the year. Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Barack Obama have made renewable energy development a priority, citing climate change, national security and new jobs.
Every day at wind farms across America threatened or endangered species are killed from collisions with blades of the prop wind turbine. This is considered legal because the offending wind farms either hold the "incidental take permit" or were not required to have one because they did not fully disclose environmental impacts of their activities.
The endangered desert tortoise and Mojave ground squirrel are frequent headliners in the local environmental debate whenever developers seek a piece of the High Desert. Now scientists are saying another population that's not quite so lovable also needs an advocate.
Golden Gate Audubon and four other local Audubon chapters sent a letter Jan. 28 to Alameda County demanding that the county ensure that wind turbines operating in the Altamont Pass remain shut down until the county implements a management plan that significantly reduces avian mortality resulting from wind turbine operations in the Altamont. "Wind turbine operations in the Altamont Pass kill as many as 9,600 birds each year, including many species that are fully protected by state and federal laws," said Mike Lynes, Conservation Director for Golden Gate Audubon.
In a case that tested the bounds of wind power's expansion, the California Coastal Commission last week denied a bid by a Santa Cruz County couple to install a wind turbine in a residential neighborhood. Voting 8 to 3 against the proposal, commissioners expressed concern that energy won from a 35-foot-high windmill might not be worth the visual jolt the project would have on the quaint Pleasure Point area as well as harm the spinning blades could have on seabirds.
On a strip of California's Mojave Desert, two dozen rare tortoises could stand in the way of a sprawling solar-energy complex in a case that highlights mounting tensions between wilderness conservation and the nation's quest for cleaner power. Oakland-based BrightSource Energy has been pushing for more than two years for permission to erect 400,000 mirrors on the site to gather the sun's energy.
Two wind farms proposed near Barstow and Apple Valley would help the state meet its renewable energy goals, but at least one poses a significant threat to desert tortoises and other wildlife and plant habitats, officials say. ...Environmentalists and wildlife biologists are closely monitoring the Daggett project, which they say poses a significant threat to the desert tortoise and other plant and animal species.
On a strip of California's Mojave Desert within view of Primm, two dozen rare tortoises could stand in the way of a sprawling solar-energy complex in a case that highlights mounting tensions between wilderness conservation and the nation's quest for cleaner power. ...The Sierra Club wants regulators to move the site closer to Interstate 15, the busy freeway connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to avoid what it says will be a virtual death sentence for the tortoises.
On a strip of California's Mojave Desert, two dozen rare tortoises could stand in the way of a sprawling solar-energy complex in a case that highlights mounting tensions between wilderness conservation and the nation's quest for cleaner power. Oakland, Calif.-based BrightSource Energy has been pushing for more than two years for permission to erect 400,000 mirrors on the site to gather the sun's energy. It could become the first project of its kind on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property.
The projects will help the nation and California meet renewable-energy goals, but they also raise new concerns about ruining scenic views and damaging habitat needed by species such as the desert tortoise, which has been creeping toward extinction. The Obama administration has selected three large-scale wind developments for a shortened approval process, part of an effort to advance alternative energy and reduce green-house emissions that experts say contribute to global warming. The energy companies hope to win BLM approval by Dec. 1, 2010.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the beginning of a process to develop a plan to reduce harm to endangered birds by a Humboldt County wind power project. The agency is asking the public to weigh in on how birds, especially marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls, might be affected by the turbines and other elements of the project on Bear River Ridge outside Ferndale.
A remote corner of East County is shaping up as a battleground between companies pushing wind farms as clean and cheap power generators and activists who view them as a blight on the landscape. It has put environmentalists in the position of opposing renewable energy because, they say, it's in the wrong place. Drawing the most attention is a plan by the Spanish conglomerate Iberdrola to build about 100 skyscraper-sized towers in and near the McCain Valley, a federal conservation area abutting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
The Altamont is the world's oldest wind farm with some 5,000 power-generating turbines covering 50 square miles on the Alameda County border. While generating good green power for the state, it has a bad reputation for killing birds. The wind turbines on the gusty Altamont Pass were installed after the energy crisis in the 1970s. Today, the world's oldest wind farm powers an average of 100,000 homes with clean green energy. But environmentalists say it comes at a steep price.
The dirty little secret about the windmill farm at Altamont Pass is that it slaughters thousands of birds every year while politicians turn a blind eye. Four years ago, environmental groups filed suit after the Alameda County Board of Supervisors effectively allowed the farm's several owners to keep killing birds despite evidence that the deaths could be greatly lessened.
The thousand of birds killed by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass tainted the reputation of the renewable energy source. But according to a recent report by the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project, smaller wind-power projects may be able to harvest energy in some parts of Monterey County without harming the endangered California condor. "The condor is the main thing that's been holding up the development of wind-power projects in Monterey County," said John Roitz.
The proposed construction of massive wind and solar energy projects on public land in the California desert would hasten destruction and further fragment land that is home to 17% of state's rarest plants, botanists said Saturday. "Most of the solar and wind projects currently under review are in the wrong places," said Greg Suba, conservation program director for the California Native Plant Society.