Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Nebraska
For more than 50 years, Carolyn Semin has treasured the black nighttime skies in the Nebraska Sandhills dotted with twinkling stars. "People come from all over the world to look at it, especially at Merritt Reservoir for the annual Star Party," she says.
The writer, who lives in Cloverdale, California, is a native of Mullen, Nebraska. He is a longtime energy auditor who is now retired.
Hines and Harms both reiterated that Fish and Wildlife could only make recommendations to NPPD, but that ultimately it was NPPD that decided the route for the transmission line. “We suggested two alternate routes that would have minimal environmental impact,” Harms said. “NPPD came back and said those routes wouldn’t work because of the cost involved.”
Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon told a legislative committee on Wednesday that disputes about wind energy development in the Sandhills are "tearing communities apart," dividing neighbors and families and even spawning death threats. ...The bill was endorsed by representatives of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy and sparked testimony from a parade of supporters who journeyed to Lincoln from the Sandhills for the morning hearing.
Today’s vote might not be the last word on the Kilgore project. One member of the three-member Cherry County Board, Jim Van Winkle, is a member of Cherry County Wind. He recused himself from the recent public hearing and probably will not vote today. That presents the possibility of a tie vote, which would send the wind farm back to the drawing board.
The enticement of government-funded projects that exclude individual rights is causing a rift among Sandhills residents that may never heal. Infringement on landowner rights using eminent domain and endangering livelihoods by destroying our grasslands with this unnecessary construction project is offensive.
Nebraska ranks high nationally for wind energy potential, but lags behind neighboring states in wind generation. It also hosts millions of migrating birds every year, including endangered species. Could those migrating birds be limiting wind energy development in Nebraska?
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 attached pdf file contains a letter written by Steve Anschutz, Nebraska Field Supervisor of the USF&WS, to Rockford Plettner, Environmental Specialist Water/Natural Resources of Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). The letter responds to a NPPD request for input regarding the possible construction of a wind farm south of Ainsworth, Brown County, Nebraska. The letter's comments are provided as technical assistance and predevelopment consultation....