Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from New Hampshire
With the SEC approval, an ugly statewide precedent has now been set that undermines the integrity and work of local volunteers who develop these important land-use plans. The undeveloped forests in this area are now more vulnerable to future development. ...Green project or not, the AWE farm is located on the wrong site. Because the Site Evaluation Committee dismissed this, its decision must be reversed.
Dr. C. William Kilpatrick, a University of Vermont biology professor, said the loss of habitat, the creation of five miles of edge habitat, year-around maintenance of a road, and sound have had substantial adverse impacts on two threatened species - the American marten and Bicknell's thrust. ...the proposed restoration plan only addresses the loss of habitat.
"After further engineering and operational evaluation, it is now apparent that the Mt. Kelsey turbines will require periodic maintenance and that this maintenance necessitates a roadway wider than 12 feet," the company states. ...The Granite Reliable amendment cites a post-construction pine marten study that states there is evidence of winter marten mortality by canine predators, such as fox and coyote, that are gaining access to high areas by way of roads.
The society's petition states that Wild Meadows does not serve the public good of the Newfound Lake-Cardingan Mountain area or of the state. "Iberdrola has signed a fifteen-year contract under which all of the energy generated by the Wild Meadows Wind Project will be sold to Massachusetts utilities, and all or most will be used to satisfy the requirements of the Renewable Portfolio Standard in Massachusetts, not New Hampshire. New Hampshire's landscapes are a critical part of our state identity and economy, and our permitting processes are inadequate."
One concern about the wind turbines was that the wide roads needed for construction - where none had been before - would make it easier for predators like coyotes and fox to get up high. That means they could compete with the Marten's food. Or, use the Marten as food. "Canines have a predilection for roads and wider paths."
Possible collusion and fraudulent Environmental Impact studies may be paving the way for the $120 million Groton Wind Project to move forward despite very real danger to threatened species, including the Peregrine Falcon. Mortality would come from falcons colliding with the turbine blades as well as the environmental degradation caused by the construction.
SEC member Mike Harrington questioned that and asked that the company to provide more information on "muck pile management." He also said he was concerned that Groton Hollow Road could be blocked by construction vehicles which break down and wanted the company to address what they could do during construction to protect residents' use of their road.
I fear greatly the rush to turn its high ground into an electrical generator for out-of-state interests. I think Gov. John Baldacci is way off base in his unbridled support of this frantic race for government handouts that will enrich a greedy few at the expense of many ... including wildlife that can't speak for itself. Mr. Carter's clear and thoughtful commentary against industrial-grade wind developments should speak loudly to citizens of Maine.
A proposed $275 million wind park in Coos Country has meet the statutory criteria to go forward. The Site Evaluation Committee yesterday agreed the project proposed by Granite Reliable Power LLC did not adversely affect the natural environment, water and air quality or public health and safety, but will decide what conditions will be placed on the project at a later date. ...The evaluation committee also voted yesterday to give itself another month to make a final determination on the project. The deadline is now June 30.
Dr. Kent also said he believed it would be important for the state Fish and Game Department and scientists from the Appalachian Mountain Club to verify - ground-truth - the condition of the 1,700 acres that would be set aside as a mitigation package to compensate for habitat loss on Mt. Kelsey and Dixville Peak. "We need to know the details, what's really on the ground, to understand if it's "tit-for-tat" - that is, the same spruce-fir habitat that will be lost on those ridgelines," Dr. Kent said. "No evidence has been presented."
Concerns about the safety of birds and bats were voiced at a state hearing yesterday on a proposal to construct a wind-energy park in Coos County. ...A subcontractor for the developer conducted a study of the birds and bats in the project area, but Don Kent, a member of the site committee and the Natural Heritage Board, said it was inadequate.
On Monday New Hampshire's Site Evaluation Committee is going to begin evaluating a proposed renewable energy project for Coos county. Granite Reliable Power wants to put up 33 wind turbines on nine miles of ridgeline across Millsfield, Dixville and Dummer. The project would go a long way to increasing the state's renewable energy portfolio. But as NHPR Correspondent Chris Jensen reports, it has a great deal of opposition.
Last week came news that Fish and Game and the Appalachian Mountain Club had agreed not to contest the mitigation package proposed to make up for the wetlands and 58 acres of high country that will be affected by the roads and towers. This was a sorry day for New Hampshire's conservation community and is probably another good reason for circumventing the state's permitting procedure and instead moving to the federal level, the Army Corps of Engineers.
If all goes to an outside developer's plan, hikers on the Cohos Trail, and just about anyone else visiting the vast Phillips Brook and Nash Stream tracts, will soon be looking at a string of horizon-dominating 400-foot wind towers, supported by a massive construction and support infrastructure (i.e., roads and concrete bases), along the ridgelines of one of New Hampshire's last great wild places. ...this proposal is an abomination, the selling of a priceless resource for little or no direct return, a hop-on-the-bandwagon case of bad supposedly "green" decision-making if ever there was one.
Granite Reliable Power, LLC, a subsidiary of Noble Environmental Power, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for work in waters of the United States in conjunction with the development of a 100-megawatt wind energy facility in Coös County. The applicant proposes to place fill material in approximately 14 acres of waters and wetlands in conjunction with the development of the proposed facility, which has numerous project elements. ...Public comments regarding this permit request (File # NAE-2008-410) should be submitted no later than February 27 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Biologists for Fish and Game said the project of Granite Reliable Power LLC to build 33 turbines in the Dixville Peak and Mount Kelsey area would permanently bisect habitat of at least four wildlife species and will have "severe and unmitigated adverse effects on the natural community," which is host to about 60 others. AMC has filed as an intervenor on the project, expressing concern about the siting of half of the 33 turbines for the same reasons.
Granite Reliable Power's plan to erect 33 wind turbines on peaks in Coos County might be good for Gov. John Lynch and his goal of making 25 percent of the state's energy renewable by 2025. It would not be so good, according to Fish and Game officials, for the American marten or the three-toed woodpecker, threatened species that depend on the high-altitude forests that the project would disrupt.
My viewpoint was, and still is, that the huge towers (260 feet high), gigantic blades (add another 150 feet), blinking strobe lights, permanent removal of wind-hindering vegetation, and highly visible road and transmission infrastructures are totally inappropriate for wild, undeveloped, scenic and highly visible settings. And I said I thought that opponents should focus on those issues, as well as the small return in electricity for the massive public price paid, aesthetically and otherwise, and should perhaps stay away from the issue of bird mortality caused by the rapidly spinning blades. The jury is still out on that, I said, and conventional wisdom is that vastly more birds are killed by high-rise windows and free-running cats......Well, so much for conventional wisdom. Editor's Note This opinion piece was written in response to a letter received from Lisa Linowes that is available via the link below.
In your column, you state bird mortality is a subject that wind energy opponents should stand down from. However, there is good reason for us to continue to shed light on this problem. To our knowledge, no commercial scale wind facility in the United States has been subject to pre-construction avian risk assessments that included remote sensing (radar or acoustical). Editor's Note: Mr. Harrigan's reponse to this letter is available via the link below.