Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from USA

Laws not enforced as wind industry kills more birds and bats

The Associated Press published a thorough article ...highlighting the Department of Interior's unwillingness to hold the wind industry accountable to laws meant to protect wildlife. With over 573,000 birds killed by wind turbines each year, according to the Wildlife Society Bulletin, as well as a significant number of bats, the Department of Interior can only point to superficial and voluntary guidelines that the wind industry continues to ignore.
17 May 2013

AP IMPACT: Wind farms get pass on eagle deaths

"What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK," said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody, who helped prosecute the PacifiCorp power line case. By not enforcing the law, the administration provides little incentive for companies to build wind farms where there are fewer birds.
14 May 2013

Companies won't face charges in condor deaths

In a decision swiftly condemned by conservationists and wildlife advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power's wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor during the expected 30-year life span of the project.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants exceptions to a wind farm and a building project in harassing or killing the endangered birds.
10 May 2013

DNR: Windmills can pose threat to birds, bat populations

"The relationship between turbine development and bird death caused by collision with blades is predictable," Cleveland said. "If a lot of birds are known to move through an area and a developer decides to put up a windmill in that area, it's safe to say a lot of those birds would be killed by blades. Wind developers have to be careful about this."
26 Apr 2013

Sage grouse need habitat and solitude

A new study led by a U.S. Geological Survey biologist reaches a simple conclusion: Do not disturb the sage grouse. Steve Knick's work shows that 99 percent of active leks, or breeding sites, are in areas with no more than 3 percent of the land disturbed by humans for uses such as roads, power lines, pipelines and communication towers.
24 Apr 2013

Opponents of Searchlight wind energy project file federal lawsuit

Earlier this month, attorneys filed in U.S. District Court of Nevada what we will call for the sake of brevity Bundorf v. Salazar. (Searchlight wind suit) The suit accuses former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of acting in "a manner that is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law" when he granted permission for construction of an 87-turbine wind farm east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land.
22 Apr 2013

Lawsuit filed against wind energy project near Mojave Preserve

Plaintiffs charge that the project, to be built by Duke Energy, would (in the words of the suit) "pose significant adverse harm to a wide array of sensitive and protected species ... including desert tortoise, golden eagles, bald eagles, and residential and migratory birds and bats... through direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts" which weren't adequately addressed.
19 Apr 2013

Basin & Range Watch joins in lawsuit

The 30-page complaint says that the environmental impact statement (EIS) "presents a one-sided and incomplete portrait of the proposed project and its likely adverse environmental impacts." "The Project would pose significant adverse harm to a wide array of sensitive and protected species -- including desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, golden eagles, bald eagles, and resident and migratory birds and bats -- through direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts."
19 Apr 2013

Eagle expert hired by wind industry locally pleads guilty to illegal Golden Eagle take and failing to file reports on birds he tracked

"The lack of data is particularly troubling because it is just this sort of data from permit holders that permits the U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service to monitor the health of the eagle populations within the United States, the release notes. Despite lacking a permit, Bittner continued to capture and band 144 migratory birds in the region, including at least one female Golden Eagle.
19 Apr 2013

Eagle expert hired by wind industry locally pleads guilty to illegal Golden Eagle take and failing to file reports on birds he tracked

"The lack of data is particularly troubling because it is just this sort of data from permit holders that permits the U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service to monitor the health of the eagle populations within the United States, the release notes. Despite lacking a permit, Bittner continued to capture and band 144 migratory birds in the region, including at least one female Golden Eagle.
19 Apr 2013

Wildlife researcher pleads guilty to unlawful taking of golden eagle

Dave Bittner, Golden Eagle expert with Wildlife Research Institute, pled guilty to federal charges of unlawful taking of Golden Eagles --working without valid permit and failure to file reports. Bittner conducted studies for Iberdrola's Tule Wind project approved by BLM and San Diego County for public and private land in the McCain Valley National Cooperative Land & Wildlife Management & Recreation Area. Tule Wind decisions by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for turbines on Ewiiaapaayp tribal lands, with a reported 6-8 Golden Eagle nests, and on State Lands Commission lands in Golden Eagle habitat are still pending. Can those agencies rely on Bitner's Golden Eagle work for Tule Wind that was apparently unpermitted and unlawful? What other breaches of law or professional ethics might be involved?
18 Apr 2013

Wildlife researcher pleads guilty to unlawful taking of golden eagle

Dave Bittner, Golden Eagle expert with Wildlife Research Institute, pled guilty to federal charges of unlawful taking of Golden Eagles --working without valid permit and failure to file reports. Bittner conducted studies for Iberdrola's Tule Wind project approved by BLM and San Diego County for public and private land in the McCain Valley National Cooperative Land & Wildlife Management & Recreation Area. Tule Wind decisions by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for turbines on Ewiiaapaayp tribal lands, with a reported 6-8 Golden Eagle nests, and on State Lands Commission lands in Golden Eagle habitat are still pending. Can those agencies rely on Bitner's Golden Eagle work for Tule Wind that was apparently unpermitted and unlawful? What other breaches of law or professional ethics might be involved?
18 Apr 2013

Environmental groups sue federal agencies over Nev. wind project approval

The wind farm and its transmission lines "will dominate the Searchlight desert and mountains," and the turbines, "with spinning blades that reach as high as the top of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas," will ruin the area for visitors, residents and businesses, the complaint stated, as well as cause "significant harm" to an array of animals through "direct, indirect and cumulative impacts."
16 Apr 2013

Lawsuit: Searchlight Wind Energy Project complaint

Searchligh_wind_complaint_thumb Environmental groups and residents of Nevada have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court of Nevada challenging the Department of the Interior's permit granting Duke Energy permission to construct an 87-turbine wind energy facility east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. Excerpts of the complaint are provided below. The plaintiffs argue that Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar acted in a manner that was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
13 Apr 2013

Wind farm won't buckle amid concern for birds

Center for Biological Diversity partnered with Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife to sue the Board of Supervisors in March 2012, claiming the impact report did not incorporate enough protections for endangered birds like the golden eagle and California condor. They also said the report did not consider a reasonable range of project alternatives, include enough mitigation measures, or adequately explain why the county rejected curtailment - shutting down turbines at certain times - as a way to reduce bird fatalities.
11 Apr 2013

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=15&topic=Impact+on+Wildlife
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