Articles filed under Impact on Birds from California

Bird death study costs frustrate supervisors

Alameda County supervisors were unimpressed with a proposed monitoring system that would study the impacts of the Altamont Pass windmills on scores of birds, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, burrowing owls and other protected species. Saying costs for the program appeared to be increasing and that it probably would not sufficiently monitor bird deaths, supervisors directed county staff to find a more thorough system — and stay under the board’s imposed $2 million cost cap.
9 Feb 2007

County rejects system to monitor bird deaths

Alameda County supervisors were unimpressed with a proposed monitoring system that would study the impacts of the Altamont Pass windmills on scores of birds, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, burrowing owls and other protected species. Saying costs for the program appeared to be increasing and that it probably would not sufficiently monitor bird deaths, supervisors directed county staff to find a more thorough system — and stay under the board’s imposed $2 million cost cap.
9 Feb 2007

Greens divided over windmill rules

Environmental groups are divided regarding rules adopted this week by Alameda County designed to reduce the number of golden eagles, raptors and other birds killed in the spinning blades of Altamont Pass wind turbines. Under new permitting rules accepted after a 4-1 vote by county supervisors Wednesday, up to 4,800 privately operated turbines will be shut down during winter and turbine blades will be painted to make them easier for birds to see. The turbines will be shut down for two months or longer this winter and next, and for a quarter of the year or more beginning at the end of 2008. Other restrictions might be adopted if bird deaths don’t drop by a half within three years.
13 Jan 2007

Supervisors settle Altamont bird suit; agreement is inadequate, environmentalists say

Alameda County Supervisors on Thursday approved a settlement intended to reduce the number of birds killed by Altamont Pass windmills, but not all environmental groups are happy. The settlement forces the wind industry to commit to a 50 percent reduction in raptor deaths by November 2009, along with removing the deadliest turbines and continuing winter shutdowns of the wind machines.
12 Jan 2007

Board hears plan to spare birds; settlement to reduce number of avian deaths from Altamont Pass turbines goes to supervisors

A settlement expected to reduce the number of birds killed by Altamont Pass windmills will be considered by Alameda County supervisors today. At least one environmental group, however, has major concerns about the deal. The proposed settlement stems from a lawsuit filed against the county in October by the Golden Gate Audubon Society, Californians for Renewable Energy and four other local Audubon chapters. The suit challenged the county’s decision to renew permits for Altamont Pass wind turbines that kill hundreds of migrating birds each year. According to a study released in 2004 by the California Energy Commission, an estimated 1,700 to 4,700 birds die each year by flying into whirring turbine blades or being electrocuted by transmission lines that thread through the 50,000-acre Altamont Wind Resource Area. Those deaths include protected species. The lawsuit alleged the supervisors violated state law by failing to conduct environmental studies of the turbines’ effects on wildlife. All the plaintiffs in the case have signed off on the proposed settlement, and only the supervisors’ endorsement is needed for final approval.
11 Jan 2007

Council hoping to cut windmills off at the pass

A resolution to officially oppose 40 planned windmills just outside of town is expected to be approved at tonight’s City Council meeting. “There’s nothing binding. It’s just a resolution to the Board of Supervisors of Riverside County” declaring the council’s position, Councilwoman Yvonne Parks said. Windmill developer PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., is proposing the project and must ask for several variances from the county Planning Commission to do so. The project must ultimately be approved by the county Board of Supervisors. The City Council’s opposition comes in conjunction with a grass-roots movement by residents to stop the 327-foot wind turbines.
19 Dec 2006

Altamont Pass Bird Kill Study Underway-Will Determine Methods to Reduce Raptor Mortality at Wind Farm

OAKLAND Calif. – A blue-ribbon Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and an Avian Monitoring Team appointed by Alameda County to study bird fatalities at Altamont Pass has begun a groundbreaking monitoring program aimed at finding solutions for reducing the high number of birds of prey killed at some wind turbines. This monitoring effort is intended to detect trends in bird mortality at Altamont Pass and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures implemented to reduce avian mortality. The goal is to reduce deaths of target raptor species by 45 percent.
8 Dec 2006

An Open Letter to the Wilderness Society

It may be the time to consider how wind farms fit in with the values which the Wilderness Society represents. If the Society is prepared to go through such a prolonged and worthy fight to save the forests, with all the financial and emotional costs involved, it would be consistent to regard wind farm development with the same scepticism with which it regards the wood chip industry. Both are potent adversaries to the values which I hope we share.
21 Nov 2006

Environmental group considers appeal of wind farm ruling

An environmental group said today that it’s considering appealing a judge’s dismissal of its lawsuit alleging that wind-farm operators in the Livermore area violate state law by killing migratory birds. In a decision issued last week, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw said windmill operators aren’t violating the state’s unfair competition law because the Center for Biological Diversity didn’t lose property or money. The center, which filed its suit in 2004, had claimed that the birds are part of the public trust and therefore are the property of the public.
18 Oct 2006

Judge dismisses windmill lawsuit

An Alameda County Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against wind-farm operators in the Altamont Pass that claimed windmill operators had violated state law by killing migratory birds in the area. Judge Bonnie Sabraw ruled Thursday the operators were not in violation of the states unfair competition law because the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the suit in 2004, did not lose property or money. The center had claimed the birds were part of the public trust and therefore wildlife property of the public.
17 Oct 2006

Six-month program to monitor Altamont Pass bird deaths OK’d

Alameda County supervisors approved the initial phase of a monitoring system that will study the impact the Altamont windmills have on scores of birds — including golden eagles, red tail hawks, burrowing owls and other protected species. The board unanimously approved the $610,000, six-month program after hesitating in July to support a $3 million, three-year plan to monitor bird deaths in the Altamont. At that July meeting, supervisors agreed to cap the program — to be paid for by the turbine operators in the Altamont — at $2 million, saying costs for the monitoring had spiraled out of control. The monitoring program will be a collaborative operation of UC Santa Cruz, WEST Inc. and Jones & Stokes, the top three bidders for the project. The group will monitor avian deaths at the 5,400 windmills east of Livermore.
6 Oct 2006

State wants rules to protect birds from windmills

The California Energy Commission will host a two-day workshop in Bakersfield later this month to develop statewide guidelines that protect birds and bats from death or injury from running into the whirling blades of the state’s thousands of windmills. The issue has seen extensive legal action over windmills in the Altamont Pass, which connects the Central Valley to the Bay Area. “Currently, wind projects are handled at the local level; there are no statewide guidelines in place to help reduce the impacts of wind development on birds and bats,” says Energy Commissioner John Geesman.
20 Sep 2006

County considers plan for windmills - Approval expected for scaled-back contract in order to monitor impact on birds

After balking at a $3 million plan to monitor the impact of the Altamont windmills on scores of birds -- including protected species such as golden eagles, red tail hawks and burrowing owls -- the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a down-sized monitoring plan today. The proposed $600,000 contract, scaled back from a monitoring system proposed in July, calls for 6,000 hours of monitoring in a six-month period and is expected to be only the initial phase in a longer study. The previous plan called for more than 12,000 hours. According to a study released in 2004 by the California Energy Commission, an estimated 1,700 to 4,700 birds die each year by flying into whirring turbine blades or being electrocuted by transmission lines that thread through the 50,000-acre Altamont Wind Resource Area.
14 Sep 2006

Bird monitoring advanced in vote -Spending on Altamont Study Capped

Instead of approving a proposed three-year research program that would track bird deaths and injuries, supervisors Tuesday unanimously agreed to let a newly appointed five-member scientific review committee decide on the parameters of such a program. The supervisors also agreed to cap spending on the program -- which will be funded by Altamont turbine operators -- at $2 million.
8 Jul 2006

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California&p=7&topic=Impact+on+Birds&type=Article
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