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As I See it - 'Wind farms' would jeopardize birds, forests

Juniata Valley Audubon asks concerned residents to contact Gov. Ed Rendell, their senators and representatives and the Department of Environmental Protection to voice their displeasure over the gross waste of almost $400,000 to study a proposal that would cause so much harm to both outdoor recreation and wildlife, and provide only minuscule amounts of expensive, unreliable electricity.

Juniata Valley Audubon is very concerned by the commonwealth's funding of a study to determine whether an in dustrial wind plant, also known as a "wind farm," should be built on Harrisburg Water Authority land surrounding the DeHart Reservoir.

Although Juniata Valley Audubon is in favor of renewable energy, the siting of wind plants along central Pennsylvania's forested ridges would have a severe negative impact on resident and migratory wildlife, and preclude recreation, such as hunting and hiking, within several hundred yards of the wind towers.

The 400-foot tall wind turbines themselves have been shown to kill many birds and bats. Ridges such as Peters Mountain and Stony Mountain are major migratory routes for golden eagles and bald eagles, as well as smaller raptors such as broad-winged hawks, peregrine falcons, and sharp-shinned hawks, and other migratory birds, such as songbirds.

Our ridges, because they provide continuous forest cover in a north-south orientation, also serve as travel corridors for migratory bats, such as the silver-haired bat and red bat. Wind projects integrated into the highest forested ridge lines in the region, unlike... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Juniata Valley Audubon is very concerned by the commonwealth's funding of a study to determine whether an in dustrial wind plant, also known as a "wind farm," should be built on Harrisburg Water Authority land surrounding the DeHart Reservoir.

Although Juniata Valley Audubon is in favor of renewable energy, the siting of wind plants along central Pennsylvania's forested ridges would have a severe negative impact on resident and migratory wildlife, and preclude recreation, such as hunting and hiking, within several hundred yards of the wind towers.

The 400-foot tall wind turbines themselves have been shown to kill many birds and bats. Ridges such as Peters Mountain and Stony Mountain are major migratory routes for golden eagles and bald eagles, as well as smaller raptors such as broad-winged hawks, peregrine falcons, and sharp-shinned hawks, and other migratory birds, such as songbirds.

Our ridges, because they provide continuous forest cover in a north-south orientation, also serve as travel corridors for migratory bats, such as the silver-haired bat and red bat. Wind projects integrated into the highest forested ridge lines in the region, unlike wind projects in the Midwest and West, are notorious for killing thousands of bats each year.

Because these gargantuan turbines will require maintenance, roads will need to be constructed to the ridge tops of mountains that now are largely roadless, resulting in fragmentation of their forests. These roads will serve as access points for invasive plants such as Japanese stiltgrass, Russian olive and Japanese knotweed and for midlevel predators such as raccoons. Several of these ridges have populations of Allegheny woodrats, a threatened species which is susceptible to fatal infections of raccoon roundworm.

Every one of these gigantic wind turbines constructed in a forested setting requires the complete removal of about five acres of trees around it. Juniata Valley Audubon views this massive loss of intact ridgetop forest as the most devastating effect of locating "wind farms" on our mountains.

In addition, at least one mile of very wide new roadway must be constructed on top of the ridge for every eight turbines placed. Thus, even if the problems with bird and bat deaths by direct collision can be solved, we would see a permanent loss of forest cover in the very places where wildlife most needs it.

In central Pennsylvania, ridge systems serve as habitat islands for forest-dependent species, such as the scarlet tanager, the wood thrush, the black-throated green warbler, the bobcat, and the fisher.

Because of the danger posed by ice and broken parts being thrown from the 200-foot long rotors, people will not be able to venture safely within several hundred yards of the towers. Ice from the rotating blades has been thrown more than 500 yards, putting people and property at risk. In addition, the noise from each 300-400-foot tall tower is the equivalent of a gas-powered generator (100 decibels) and can be heard up to 1,500 feet away.

For the above-mentioned reasons, Juniata Valley Audubon asks concerned residents to contact Gov. Ed Rendell, their senators and representatives and the Department of Environmental Protection to voice their displeasure over the gross waste of almost $400,000 to study a proposal that would cause so much harm to both outdoor recreation and wildlife, and provide only minuscule amounts of expensive, unreliable electricity.

On the ridges of St. Anthony's Wilderness, the largest roadless area in southeastern Pennsylvania, the devastating effects of "wind farms" on wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation outweigh any environmental benefit of wind power

Source: http://www.pennlive.com/col...

JAN 25 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1099-as-i-see-it-wind-farms-would-jeopardize-birds-forests
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