Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from California
"There is no evidence that DDT harmed eagles in any way, but we know windmills actually do harm the eagles -- and environmentalists are all bent out of shape about endangered species status of eagles," says Milloy. "Well, those big Cuisinarts in the sky -- they seem to be whacking a lot of eagles."
Wind power is the fastest growing component in the state's green energy portfolio, but wildlife advocates say the marriage has an unintended consequence: dead birds, including protected species of eagles, hawks and owls. "The cumulative impacts are huge," said Shawn Smallwood, one of the few recognized experts studying the impact of wind farms on migratory birds.
Wind developer Oak Creek Energy of Oakland last month pulled the plug on a five-year effort to build a wind farm in the Castle Mountain area that Feinstein wants to add to the Mojave Preserve. "The primary reason was that we found this area was heavily desired by powerful interests," executive vice president Edward Duggan said in an e-mail.
The lawsuit, filed December 30 in California's Supreme Court by the Sierra Club, alleges that state regulators improperly approved the plant, known as the Calico Solar Project. The suit, obtained by Reuters, charges that regulators failed to fully mitigate the project's impact on rare plant and animal species, and asks the court to void approval and permits for the plant.
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.