Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from Canada
People have been hoodwinked into promoting wind turbine energy as some sort of Nirvana all while human population growth and per capita energy consumption continue to spiral upward. Turbine energy generation is fueling growth in human population and energy consumption and growth in a false "economy". It is NOT doing the opposite. Matching the folly of the energy replacement misunderstanding is denial by governments and promoters of the ecological impacts and health effects of turbines; the ugly reality is that they are a serious addition to the industrialization of quiet rural landscapes that people have long valued for quality of life, retirement, and recreation. ...Wind turbines are an assault on human well being and act to degrade the human "gestalt". Promotion of wind turbine energy is a case of serious misjudgment by those who fraudulently use green wash to promote their commercial aspirations.
Yet the Ontario Government seems to be committed to opening up this sensitive area to the burgeoning wind-farm industry. In a recent report commissioned by the Ontario Power Authority, Georgian Bay has been singled out as an excellent place to locate offshore wind farms. A number of land-based farms have already been proposed along its shoreline.
Birds are in big trouble in North America. A recent study found 127 species of neotropical migratory birds are in decline. How badly? The Black-chinned Sparrow population has fallen 89 per cent over the past 40 years, the Cerulean Warbler is down 83 per cent, and Sprague's Pipit population has declined by 81 per cent. So drastically have overall migratory bird populations fallen that one scientist who compared weather satellite images over time, found that migrating bird flocks were 50 per cent smaller than they were several years ago. Last week in Washington, Congress began hearings into the crisis and there were calls on the government to boost funding to the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
Gilead Power, a privately owned renewable energy company, is proposing a wind farm of up to 13, 90-metre high turbines in Ostrander Point Crown Land block, directly west of the National Wildlife Area and in the heart of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area. ...now is the time to ask politicians and the candidates the hard questions about this important part of Canada's natural heritage. Is the provincial government willing to protect the integrity of migratory bird habitat and say no to the wind farm at Ostrander Point? Are our leaders in Ottawa ready to ante-up the required resources to get our national wildlife areas off life-support? Demand answers!
Governors from several western U.S. states and Canadian provinces met Sunday to discuss strategies for protecting wildlife that roams their region while also capitalizing on immense energy resources. ...The council´s task will be to identify key wildlife corridors and habitats for wildlife, such as pronghorn antelope, sage grouse and bear. The council will also study ways to protect animal habitat in the face of ever-increasing demand for domestic energy development _ both in the form of oil and gas drilling and new construction of solar and wind generation plants _ the building of new infrastructure for the region´s growing population and the effects of climate change.
On June 4, 2008, the Minister of Tourism confirmed the province's approval for the Wolfe Island Wind Project. Premier Dalton McGuinty asked the Minister to step in when the Environment Minister declared a conflict-of-interest on May 29, 2008. Controversy over the Wolfe Island Wind Project centres on the location of a handful of the 86-wind turbines that Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation hopes to build on the island later this year.
Is the proposed wind-energy farm on Wolfe Island an example of a community making environmentally sound choices? The honeybee story has made me skeptical. Are decisions being made because they are good for the environment and the residents of Wolfe Island or because the project is going to line the pockets of the people involved? Are people so anxious to make money they won't wait for an environmental assessment? Has anyone taken into consideration the location of the turbines and their impact on the people who live near the site? Do those residents have a say?
Following a study of the movement of birds at a proposed wind farm site, the City of Summerside has reduced the number of turbines planned and changed their shoreline location. ...Two of the four turbines would go on the shoreline of Malpeque Bay, just east of Slemon Park. The site is recognized under an international conservation treaty signed in 1971, known as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Wellington North should develop local guidelines for development of wind energy projects, its Economic Development Committee (EDC) decided last Wednesday. ...Mr. Taylor said the county regulations failed to address specific setback issues with regard to how far a wind turbine should be located from sensitive areas. "There was little or no reference to bird migration," he said. "They talk about being concerned about being beside our greenlands, but they don't say how far." Concern at the EDC revolves around the impact wind turbines might have migratory bird routes at Luther Marsh. The regulations also fail to address a process for public input on wind developments.
A ban on wind energy projects within 200 metres of the Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River shoreline is among the many recommendations in the final draft of official plan changes proposed for the County of Essex. Bans would also protect national parks, conservation areas and a host of smaller natural areas, particularly those with endangered or threatened species. The recommendations by the Jones Consulting Group divide the county into four different management areas and requires that proponents show their wind farm proposals won't harm communities or the environment. New policies would protect "heritage resources and significant cultural heritage landscapes." The visual impact of turbines, that could be 120 metres high, has to be weighed for the impact on scenic viewpoints and landscapes.
Opponents of a 410-million dollar wind turbine farm on Wolfe Island won't rule out a court appeal to stop the project from spinning ahead. They've been trying to get the province to impose a more rigorous environmental assessment. But so far, no luck. That means "Canadian Hydro" is moving full speed ahead with plans to start installing the turbines this summer. Newswatch's Stu Hay has an update. "Disappointed" is the only word Wolfe Island resident Sarah Mcdermott can come up with to describe her feelings. Wolfe Island is slated to become a giant wind-farm this October... She was hoping that the environmental impact of the project would be scrutinised more than it has been... But she's been told that's not going to happen.
The Ministry of the Environment has turned down requests from Wolfe Island residents seeking a more detailed study of the effects of a proposed wind-power project in their community. In a letter dated March 27, citizens learned that the ministry had declined their request to require Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation to prepare an individual environmental assessment before the firm's 86-turbine wind project is allowed to proceed. ...Her decision to quash the individual environmental assessment - applied to large projects with potential environmental impacts - leaves residents feeling that the province is pushing the project without adequately addressing their health and environmental concerns. Many saw the environmental assessment as their best chance to have their concerns addressed before construction began.
Two years after B.C. Premier Campbell announced a "historical land use agreement" that was intended to protect Canada's Great Bear Rainforest, it remains unlegislated. Although the land use agreement was supposed to establish new conservancy boundaries, new large scale industrial proposals are planned within these same areas-leaving the world renowned Great Bear Rainforest under threat once again. ...The Provincial Government and the Canadian Wildlife Service are conducting an environmental assessment for a massive wind farm, which will include a 150km high power transmission line that extends through four other Great Bear conservancies.
Whooping cranes, one of the world's rarest birds, have waged a valiant battle against extinction. But federal officials warn of a new potential threat to the endangered whoopers: wind farms. Down to as few as 16 in 1941, the gargantuan birds that migrate 2,400 miles each fall from Canada to Texas, thanks to conservation efforts, now number about 266. But because wind energy, one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy, has gained such traction, whooping cranes could again be at risk - from either crashing into the towering wind turbines and transmission lines or because of habitat lost to the wind farms. "Basically you can overlay the strongest, best areas for wind turbine development with the whooping crane migration corridor," said Tom Stehn, whooping crane coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Unamaki Institute of Natural Resources, based in Eskasoni, is calling for consultations with the island's First Nations communities. The Pitu'paq committee, comprising Cape Breton's municipalities, First Nations communities and government agencies, has called for a full panel federal environmental assessment and independent Mi'kmaq environmental assessment. Laurie Suitor, intergovernmental relations adviser with the Unamaki institute, said Lisi, who is also Cape Breton Explorations chief financial officer, has yet to sit down with aboriginal groups to discuss the company's plan for 44 wind turbines and a hydroelectric plant powered by water from Lake Uist. "Unfortunately, he hasn't followed up on that to date," Suitor said, adding that an extensive federal review of the project is needed to sort through any potential negative environmental impacts that may arise. "A full panel federal environmental assessment would bring a lot more scrutiny to the project."
An alpine wilderness in northern B.C. that's critical habitat to a herd of threatened mountain caribou is being proposed as the site for hundreds of industrial wind turbines. Aeolis Wind Power Corp. based at Sidney on Vancouver Island has provided the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office with draft terms of reference for its 1,000-megawatt Hackney Hills wind farm, about 45 kilometres northwest of Hudson's Hope. ..."Global warming is being used as a Trojan horse to justify all manner of high-impact energy projects, and Hackney Hills is a prime example," said Wayne Sawchuk, an award-winning Peace Valley conservationist and member of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society board.
The need for proper setbacks in Chatham-Kent between wind turbines and homes and natural settings was voiced loudly Tuesday by Chatham businessman Harry Verhey. Verhey told Chatham Sunrise Rotary Club members - of which he is a member - that he isn't challenging the use of wind turbines, but is convinced there is an urgent need to determine setbacks that are right for the municipality. "The recent proliferation of industrial wind projects will have a negative impact on the community," he said. "The massive size of industrial wind turbines conflicts with the scale and character of the Chatham-Kent landscape." ...Verhey said ads run in local papers by the proponents of wind farms aren't enough - "for the most part the public is unaware of turbine developments and locations."
Chatham-Kent is proud to be known for its farmland, outstanding fishing and hunting and most importantly our quality of life. Now threatening all of this is AIM PowerGen Corp. proposing a possible 100 wind turbine generators and Gengrowth proposing nine wind farms with five wind turbines on each. With government grants and incentives, there will be more. Before we make it easier for them to destroy our quality of life with our tax dollars and by changing existing development bylaws, please stop and consider.
Over the past several months there have been three notices in The Citizen regarding use of provincial lands for installation of monitoring towers to investigate the potential of wind energy. There have been similar notices in Vanderhoof for additional lands in that area. Taken individually, these seem not too intrusive, but cumulatively, looking at the big picture, the possibility of having one big wind farm, stretching from the south side of Cluculz Lake over to the area between Bednesti and Dahl Lakes, then across Highway 16 from Cobb Lake to Eskers Provincial Park - alarm bells start going off. I would like to embrace the concept of wind energy but I am really concerned with regards to the impact these possible installations may have on both resident and migratory birds.
Nova Scotia has the potential to become a world leader in tidal power. But to be successful, we have to make sure we get it right economically, socially and environmentally. That's why it's disappointing and even a little alarming that Premier Rodney MacDonald's government rushed out an announcement last Tuesday on a multimillion-dollar test centre on the shores of the Minas Basin - four months before an extensive environmental report is due that is supposed to establish the ground rules for tidal development in the Bay of Fundy. ...In its haste to claim progress on green energy, the government failed to establish a regime of best practices [on siting wind farms]. No standards were put in place, for example, for minimum setbacks from residential properties, protecting sightlines, or trying to engage community ownership. This resulted in acrimony in many rural villages that suddenly found themselves hosting towering industrial turbines owned by people living far away. It wasn't until this past fall that MacDonald's government agreed to cost-share a $45,000 study with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities on best practices for bylaws regulating wind turbine siting.