Articles filed under Impact on Bats from West Virginia
Wind turbines could continue to sprout along the state's Appalachian ridgetops, as state regulators approved a project on the Randolph/Barbour County border in November. The same company applied in December to build a project in Grant County, while another developer announced plans in January for a project near Keyser. Industry growth may be slowing, however, as the national economic recession dries up the investment capital needed to build new projects.
Marty has been studying the life cycle of the timber rattlesnake for 25 years. He regularly visits several dens that have been in existence on the Allegheny Front for thousands of years -- to check on the emergence of snakes in the spring. Marty had been concerned about the possible disruption of the snake dens by the construction of the Ned-Power Industrial Wind Turbines, but he was assured that the dens, located in rock piles, with crevasses going into the earth, would not be disturbed. When Marty returned to his study site this Spring, this is what he found: "It is finished. There is nothing left to save.
The prospect of thousands of endangered bats flying to their deaths in West Virginia wind turbines soon could get consideration in federal court because of Judy Rodd. The 63-year-old is the president of Friends of Blackwater Canyon, which recently joined 10 other groups in filing a "notice of intent" with the Fish and Wildlife Service to sue a wind company on Endangered Species Act grounds. The organizations warned of potential turbine kills of the Indiana bat, Virginia big-eared bat and Virginia northern flying squirrel. "Yes, we're concerned about climate change," said Rodd in a phone interview. "But that doesn't mean they can't build the turbines somewhere else and let the bats live."
When he received a reply from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about its correspondence with Liberty Gap, the information included a Nov. 16, 2007 letter from the agency to Wendy Tidhar of WEST, Inc. based in Cheyene, Wyo. WEST apparently represents an unnamed wind energy developer exploring a site on federal national forest property that would affect Pendleton and Hardy counties in West Virginia, and a portion of Rockingham County in Virginia. What the USFWS told Tidhar, says Thomas, is promising for those who have for years stressed the need to protect the environment, birds and bats in particular, from a potential proliferation of wind turbine towers along the Appalachian Front. The USFWS West Virginia Field Office told Tidhar, "We recommend that you consider alternative locations for this wind power facility because the proposed site is a high risk site, and wind power operations at this location pose a reasonable likelihood of take of species protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty, and Eagle Act."
WASHINGTON - An unusual coalition of conservationists and coal advocates told Congress on Tuesday that before the nation continues its rapid expansion of wind power, an assessment is needed of how many bats and birds are maimed and killed by wind turbines' blades. That study should be followed up with regulations to protect those species, witnesses told a House Natural Resources subcommittee.
Washington, DC (HNN) -- U.S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, D-WV on Tuesday, May 1, 2007, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans Subcommittee on the impacts of wind turbines on birds and bats. Below is Mollohan's testimony:
LEWISBURG — One environmental concern over the proposed 124-turbine wind farm slated for northern Greenbrier County is the number of birds and bats killed each year by the blades of the nearly 400-foot-tall structures, but whether bats can put a halt to the $300 million project remains to be seen.
The speakers were met with a bit of skepticism, however, as Commissioner Wayne Spiggle questioned them about their proposed relationship with existing industries and the possible environmental impact on winged creatures.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The nation's largest generator of wind power plans to use fire to study bat habitats. FPL Energy LLC operates 43 wind farms in 15 states, including the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in Tucker County.
Thomas, W.Va. --- Towering up to 228 feet above the Appalachian Mountain ridge, windmills are lined up like marching aliens from "War of the Worlds." Up close, they emit a high-pitched electrical hum. From a distance of a few hundred yards, their 115-foot blades make a steady whooshing sound as their tips cut through the air at up to 140 mph.
THOMAS, W.Va. — Towering up to 228 feet above the Appalachian Mountain ridge — far above the treeline — are windmills lined up like marching aliens from War of the Worlds. Up close, they emit a high-pitched hum. From a few hundred yards away, their blades — extending 115 feet from center — cause a steady whooshing sound as they cut through the air at up to 140 mph at the tips.
The 2003 study, aimed as much at birds as bats, unexpectedly found that the Mountaineer wind turbines on Backbone Mountain killed an estimated 2,092 bats. Tuttle, not involved in that study, called the 2003 bat kill “by far the largest bat mortality event I know of worldwide and, as far as I know, the biggest mortality event of any animal.” The 2004 bat kill could be even worse.