Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from California

Tortoise habitat slows plans for solar energy farm in Mojave Desert

On a strip of California's Mojave Desert, two dozen rare tortoises could stand in the way of a sprawling solar-energy complex in a case that highlights mounting tensions between wilderness conservation and the nation's quest for cleaner power. Oakland-based BrightSource Energy has been pushing for more than two years for permission to erect 400,000 mirrors on the site to gather the sun's energy.
7 Jan 2010

Wind farm projects raise environmental concerns

Two wind farms proposed near Barstow and Apple Valley would help the state meet its renewable energy goals, but at least one poses a significant threat to desert tortoises and other wildlife and plant habitats, officials say. ...Environmentalists and wildlife biologists are closely monitoring the Daggett project, which they say poses a significant threat to the desert tortoise and other plant and animal species.
7 Jan 2010

Tortoises slow sun power plan; Rare reptiles could block proposed solar-energy complex

On a strip of California's Mojave Desert within view of Primm, two dozen rare tortoises could stand in the way of a sprawling solar-energy complex in a case that highlights mounting tensions between wilderness conservation and the nation's quest for cleaner power. ...The Sierra Club wants regulators to move the site closer to Interstate 15, the busy freeway connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to avoid what it says will be a virtual death sentence for the tortoises.
2 Jan 2010

Solar showdown in tortoises' home

On a strip of California's Mojave Desert, two dozen rare tortoises could stand in the way of a sprawling solar-energy complex in a case that highlights mounting tensions between wilderness conservation and the nation's quest for cleaner power. Oakland, Calif.-based BrightSource Energy has been pushing for more than two years for permission to erect 400,000 mirrors on the site to gather the sun's energy. It could become the first project of its kind on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property.
1 Jan 2010

Turbines are careful fit in desert

The projects will help the nation and California meet renewable-energy goals, but they also raise new concerns about ruining scenic views and damaging habitat needed by species such as the desert tortoise, which has been creeping toward extinction. The Obama administration has selected three large-scale wind developments for a shortened approval process, part of an effort to advance alternative energy and reduce green-house emissions that experts say contribute to global warming. The energy companies hope to win BLM approval by Dec. 1, 2010.
29 Dec 2009

Wind power project goes under analysis

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the beginning of a process to develop a plan to reduce harm to endangered birds by a Humboldt County wind power project. The agency is asking the public to weigh in on how birds, especially marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls, might be affected by the turbines and other elements of the project on Bear River Ridge outside Ferndale.
24 Dec 2009

They're not green episode 6

The Golden Eagle along with thousand of other birds are killed yearly by wind turbines at Altamont Pass. Dr. Shawn Smallwood, Biologist, has collected data on the bird fatalities at Altamont Pass since 1999. He is convinced that the process of approving Wind Farms in rural communities has become corrupt. Duration: 4 minutes 18 seconds
19 Dec 2009

Wind farm plan irks activists; Towers would be built in remote McCain Valley

A remote corner of East County is shaping up as a battleground between companies pushing wind farms as clean and cheap power generators and activists who view them as a blight on the landscape. It has put environmentalists in the position of opposing renewable energy because, they say, it's in the wrong place. Drawing the most attention is a plan by the Spanish conglomerate Iberdrola to build about 100 skyscraper-sized towers in and near the McCain Valley, a federal conservation area abutting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
15 Nov 2009

Wind farm poses danger to bird populations

The Altamont is the world's oldest wind farm with some 5,000 power-generating turbines covering 50 square miles on the Alameda County border. While generating good green power for the state, it has a bad reputation for killing birds. The wind turbines on the gusty Altamont Pass were installed after the energy crisis in the 1970s. Today, the world's oldest wind farm powers an average of 100,000 homes with clean green energy. But environmentalists say it comes at a steep price.
13 Nov 2009

Altamont bird slaughter worsens

The dirty little secret about the windmill farm at Altamont Pass is that it slaughters thousands of birds every year while politicians turn a blind eye. Four years ago, environmental groups filed suit after the Alameda County Board of Supervisors effectively allowed the farm's several owners to keep killing birds despite evidence that the deaths could be greatly lessened.
28 Oct 2009

Report paves way for wildlife-friendly wind power in Monterey County

The thousand of birds killed by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass tainted the reputation of the renewable energy source. But according to a recent report by the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project, smaller wind-power projects may be able to harvest energy in some parts of Monterey County without harming the endangered California condor. "The condor is the main thing that's been holding up the development of wind-power projects in Monterey County," said John Roitz.
27 Oct 2009

Renewable energy projects threaten some of California's rarest plants

The proposed construction of massive wind and solar energy projects on public land in the California desert would hasten destruction and further fragment land that is home to 17% of state's rarest plants, botanists said Saturday. "Most of the solar and wind projects currently under review are in the wrong places," said Greg Suba, conservation program director for the California Native Plant Society.
17 Oct 2009

Wind turbines are killing condors

Two of California's highest priority environmental causes, promoting renewable energy and saving the California condor, are on a collision course. The proliferation of prop wind turbines and their well documented history of killing birds of prey have put the future of California condor at great risk. The fact is, in recent years many missing Condors have most likely perished at wind farms in California. Many of the captive bed condors, released into the wild since 1992 have turned up missing. Nearly 1/3 of all the captive bred condors released, perish for unknown reasons. If one looks into the scientific literature, collision is nearly always listed as a major cause of death to Condors.
1 Oct 2009

Windmills are killing our birds

Over the past two decades, federal officials have brought hundreds of similar cases against energy companies. In July, for example, the Oregon-based electric utility PacifiCorp paid $1.4 million in fines and restitution for killing 232 eagles in Wyoming over the past two years. The birds were electrocuted by poorly-designed power lines. Yet there is one group of energy producers that are not being prosecuted for killing birds: wind-power companies. And wind-powered turbines are killing a vast number of birds every year.
7 Sep 2009

Avian and bat fatality rates at old-generation and repowered wind turbines in California

Smallwood_and_karas_2009_altamont-1_thumb This important report, which appeared in the Wildlife Society's Journal of Wildlife Management, details the effect on raptor and bird mortality following repowering a portion of the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) in California (USA). Repowering involves removing older generation towers and replacing them with higher capacity -- and potentially better sited -- units. The abstract to this report appears below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
1 Sep 2009

California condors, wind farms on collision course

Two of California's greatest environmental causes, renewable energy and saving the California condor, are on a collision course. The explosion of lethal prop-style wind farms being built in condor habitat is putting the hard-won future of the condor at risk. Many condors undoubtedly perish at such wind farms, although official reports attribute losses to other causes.
30 Aug 2009

Big power line controversy; Underneath the way it's been handled lies question: Is it needed?

Size and cost alone make this project controversial, but it has become even hotter because, so far, it has been handled so poorly by the people who want to build it, the Transmission Agency of Northern California. TANC is a joint powers agency comprised of 15 publicly owned utilities, including the MID and TID. The agency's commission is chaired by MID's general manager, Allen Short. Not surprisingly, landowners all the way from Lassen and Shasta to Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties are upset -- and angry.
21 Jun 2009

Bird is the word in the windfarming faceoff between turbines and condors

Soledad wants to build a seven-turbine wind farm to power its wastewater treatment plant. Sounds simple enough only the few remaining California condors frequently fly over the city and the Department of Fish and Game doesn't want to take the chance for one endangered bird to be pureed. "Even though it's a relatively low risk," says David Hacker, staff environmental scientist for DFG, "it's still a risk and any risk can be significant for this species."
28 May 2009

Dangers from above

You may not be aware of this but across America each year thousands of birds of prey are killed at wind farms. The public perception of wind turbines is that of slow moving blades turning in the wind on a ridge line. The power and danger of the prop design wind turbine is not well understood. Probably the hardest aspect for the public to grasp is that of "tip speed." The killer of eagles and all birds at wind farms is blade tip speed. This is what kills and this is what the wind industry does not publicize or put in their environmental documents.
10 May 2009

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California&p=5&topic=Impact+on+Wildlife
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