Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from Kansas

NextEra’s proposal violates guidelines

The wildlife of Kansas is held in trust for the people of Kansas. Kansas Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism is the official guardian of that trust. In fulfillment of this obligation, KWP&T has established guidelines for the responsible siting of wind turbines. NextEra’s proposal violates these guidelines.
24 Apr 2019

Some see proposed wind farm as a threat in Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Among the regulars are pelicans, wood ducks, trumpeter swans, blue-winged teals, sandhill cranes, blue herons, snow geese and smaller shorebirds such as the killdeer. After a layover, they ride the updraft from wind hitting the nearby Loess Hills, formed thousands of years ago from wind-blown soil. Now a company wants to capture that same wind by building Missouri’s largest wind farm nearby.
5 May 2014

Snakes and prairie chickens pit development against species preservation in Kansas

Threats to the bird include wind farms, oil and gas production, herbicides, drought and livestock grazing. Kansas Electric Cooperatives and the Kansas Farm Bureau back the bill. Designating the bird as endangered or threatened could stymie the state’s wind industry by limiting placement of wind turbines. It also could double the cost of building power transmission lines.
9 Feb 2014

FWS plans big wind study

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at the request of wind-power developers, plan to prepare an environmental impact statement that would cover much of Kansas. The area includes the corridor used by migrating whooping cranes and the troubled lesser prairie chicken range.
18 Jul 2011

A habitat could be on the line

That's because general plans for the 345-kilovolt route, known as the V-Plan and including a connecting line into Oklahoma, appear to take the line through prime nesting and breeding habitat for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken in both states. With an estimated two-thirds of the unique bird's original habitat already eliminated by development, officials warn that further encroachment could place the bird on the nation's endangered species list.
5 Sep 2010

Wind industry faces 'Prairie Rebellion' in Kansas County

Local governments are beginning to flex their permitting authority to challenge commercial-scale wind farms, a trend some industry observers say could impede broader federal efforts to expand renewable energy production. The latest round in the emerging battle between local governments and wind-energy developers occurred last week in Kansas, where the state Supreme Court upheld a Wabaunsee County zoning ordinance banning industrial-scale wind ...Experts say the Wabaunsee ordinance, unanimously upheld by the Kansas court, is a key test of local governments' power to effectively ban large-scale wind farms, as opposed to blocking a specific project or proposal.
5 Nov 2009

Renewable energy's environmental paradox; Wind and solar projects may carry costs for wildlife

The SunZia transmission line that would link sun and wind power from central New Mexico with cities in Arizona is just the sort of energy project an environmentalist could love -- or hate. And it is just the sort of line the Interior Department has been tasked with promoting -- or guarding against. If built, the 460-mile line would carry about 3,000 megawatts of power, enough to avoid the need for a handful of coal-fired plants and to help utilities meet mandated targets for use of renewable fuel.
16 Apr 2009

Fending off an extinction

The greater prairie chicken of eastern Kansas has been declining with the encroachment of man. Roads have broken up vast rangeland, as well as oil wells, wind farms and cell phone towers. Cedars and other trees and shrubs have invaded their territory. Suburban development also is a factor as a growing number of residents buy small parcels of land to build a home.
11 Apr 2009

Prairie chickens face new threats

A century ago prairie chickens may have been the most common wild bird on the High Plains. Today's lesser prairie chicken population is thought to be just 3 percent of what it was a century ago. Wildlife experts say the reason is simple: native grasslands are disappearing and without the habitat they need, prairie chickens are dying off. ...And now wind turbines threaten to blanket parts of the grassland.
22 Mar 2009

Elegant, endangered whoopers appear in Kansas

An estimated 266 whoopers - the largest wild flock of endangered whooping cranes - will migrate from Wood Buffalo National Park in the Canadian Northwest Territories to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast of Texas this fall. This migration route takes them directly through the center of the Central Flyway ...threats to the flock, including water and land development in Texas, wind farm construction in the migration corridor, and tar sands waste ponds in Canada all increased in 2008.
6 Nov 2008

Horizon Wind offsets development impact on prairie birds

Wind project developer, owner, and operator Horizon Wind Energy will offset the effects of its new wind farm in north central Kansas by investing in a 20,000 acres of offsite habitat restoration to benefit grassland birds, especially the greater prairie-chicken. Horizon Wind Energy signed the conservation investment agreement Wednesday with the Ranchland Trust of Kansas and The Nature Conservancy of Kansas.
26 Sep 2008

Rare birds could be threatened by growth of wind farms

Whooping cranes, one of the world's rarest birds, have waged a valiant battle against extinction. But federal officials warn of a new potential threat to the endangered whoopers: wind farms. Down to as few as 16 in 1941, the gargantuan birds that migrate 2,400 miles each fall from Canada to Texas, thanks to conservation efforts, now number about 266. But because wind energy, one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy, has gained such traction, whooping cranes could again be at risk - from either crashing into the towering wind turbines and transmission lines or because of habitat lost to the wind farms. "Basically you can overlay the strongest, best areas for wind turbine development with the whooping crane migration corridor," said Tom Stehn, whooping crane coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
27 Feb 2008

Benefits of coal

I am equally saddened to see the sorry, unreliable, expensive substitute - a "wind farm" - being installed just west of Salina. A recent full-page ad in the Journal-World dishonestly portrayed children playing under a wind turbine. Fact is, the noise created by these gigantic turbines will make the land uninhabitable for nearly all forms of life, including people and birds. No responsible parent would allow their loved ones to live or play around these monsters.
28 Oct 2007

Forcing turbines on landowners is wrong

Just more than 43 percent of the landowners have signed a formal protest petition stating that they do not want to live in an industrial park. The actual percentage of landowners against this project was closer to 67 percent. ...These are the landowners that live within 1,000 feet of where these intrusive machines are proposed to be built. I use the word intrusive because there is no other way to describe how these 67 percent feel about being forced by others to live under conditions they had not chosen for themselves. Conditions from which the county itself vowed to protect.
24 Aug 2007

Studies explore what can be done to help the prairie chicken

Now those concerned about prairie chickens wonder whether a competing and more commercially marketable sound - that of the wind - will impact the chickens' booming. Research being conducted in this area under the direction of KSU biology professors Samantha Wisely and Brett Sandercock seeks to determine how the development of wind energy might impact prairie chickens.
11 Jun 2007
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