Library filed under Impact on Birds from Nevada
According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Vegas Field Office, the agency is now in the process of closing the application for the project, 18 months after a federal judge voided the federal approvals for the project because of the likely harm to desert tortoises and golden eagles.
A test of a solar power tower project in Nevada resulted in injuries to over one hundred birds, the federal government is reporting, though the project's owners say they've fixed the problem.
On February 3, 2015, Judge Du had ordered BLM to prepare a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on eagles due to inadequate surveys. In 2011, surveys funded by BLM found twenty-eight golden eagle nests within 10 miles of the project site, many more than the three nests the developer reported in its flawed avian surveys.
Conservationists are calling for regulatory action after the death of a second golden eagle in three years at a White Pine County wind farm that sells power to NV Energy. The body of the federally protected bird was found Feb. 9 near one of the massive turbines at the Spring Valley Wind Energy ...Operators of the wind farm reported the death to federal regulators and collected the juvenile bird’s carcass for further examination by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
A wind energy facility in eastern Nevada killed its second golden eagle in January, and environmentalists are demanding action from the federal government to prevent more eagle deaths there.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting an investigation after a golden eagle was killed in late February at the Spring Valley Wind Farm, about 300 miles north of Las Vegas. ...the wind farm could face a fine of up to $200,000 because it does not hold a federal "take" permit that would allow the incidental death of a golden or bald eagle. Stafford said the matter is under investigation by the service's Office of Law Enforcement.
With another season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will have two years of data on the soaring and hunting patterns of golden eagles near the proposed Virginia Peak project, said Amedee Bricky, who is a migratory bird biologist for the service in Sacramento. "The turbines pose a lethal hazards for the birds," she said. "The biggest concern is the birds don't recognize the spinning blades as a hazard."
Making the list means the bird's habitat would be federally protected. Green energy development of rural Nevada -- seen by state leaders as integral to Nevada's future -- could grind to a standstill with added layers of bureaucracy. Mining would be affected, and so would ranching. The Nevada Legislature is considering two bills to help the state maintain and boost the number of birds, keeping them off the list.
The fate of basic industries across the Intermountain West -- grazing, mining, energy -- soon could be at least partially tied to that of a bird about the size of a chicken. The federal government is under a judge's order to reconsider an earlier decision against listing the sage grouse as endangered, and wildlife biologists are scouring the species' customary mating grounds to see how many are left. The species was seen as recently as 2004 over an area as large as California and Texas combined, but its habitat used to be close to twice that and research has shown that many types of human activity continue to harm it. ...''It will affect everything we do and know (as) a Western state, everything from livestock grazing to mining to development of sage brush habitat, wind energy,'' said Ken Mayer, director of the Nevada wildlife department. ''I don't think we have ever been in this position before.''
As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gets ready to re-examine whether the greater sage grouse needs federal protection, Espinosa and other state wildlife biologists across the West are frantically looking for the bird and the traditional mating grounds known as leks where they have lived for centuries _ or, increasingly, where they used to live. ..."It has been quite simply amazing the amount of habitat we have lost in just the last two years, particularly in the northeast part of the state," said Espinosa of the Nevada Department of Wildlife. ...whether the federal government concludes the grouse needs protection is "a huge decision." "It will affect everything we do and know (as) a Western state, everything from livestock grazing to mining to development of sage brush habitat, wind energy, transmission lines," he said.
It all sounds nice and crunchy on the surface, but Whole Foods might soon find itself picketed the same way Wal-Mart is, but instead of unions it'll be environmentalists.