Articles filed under Impact on Wildlife from USA
Across the U.S., more than 800 utility-scale solar projects are under contract to generate nearly 70,000 megawatts of new capacity ...More than half this capacity is being planned for the American Southwest, with its abundance of sunshine and open land. These large projects are increasingly drawing opposition from environmental activists and local residents who say they are ardent supporters of clean energy. Their objections range from a desire to keep the land unspoiled to protection for endangered species to concerns that their views would no longer be as beautiful.
A fleet of consulting desert tortoise biologists have been sweeping the 3,000-acre Yellow Pine Solar Project site near Pahrump with shovels to move as many protected desert tortoises out of harm’s way as possible before the site is converted to millions of solar panels, according to the press release by Basin and Range Watch, a nonprofit working to conserve the deserts of Nevada and California.
They worry that wind farms with their soaring turbines could disrupt fish habitat, reroute fishing lanes, and force sport anglers farther out to sea. Lackner, of Montauk, N.Y., believes that the farms will narrow the currently wide-open pathways to the vessel he docks at Cape May so often that he calls it his second home. “We’ll have to tow in between turbines while dragging a quarter mile of gear,” Lackner said. “We’ll be passing boats, as our gear drifts. ... It’s not good to jump right into wind in such a big way.”
A land battle is brewing at the site of what could be Nevada's newest national monument, Avi Kwa Ame.
Picture an area of land equal to the combined territories of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island — 228,000 square miles in all. That's the space that could be required to site most of the massive deployments of wind and solar generation required to fulfill President Biden's goal of a net-zero-carbon economy by midcentury, according to a recent first-ever project to attempt mapping that future.
Wind farms are not environmentally friendly to land or to nature. For example, the excavation of leased land to install and support wind farms permanently alters that property’s landscapes, rock outcroppings and micro-environments – all of which are irreplaceable. ...The turbines are a blight for miles around, and they also interfere with endangered species. Current projects in Montague and Jack counties will negatively affect the migration paths and lay-over locations of Whooping Cranes. Current population numbers are estimated to be about 500 Whopping Cranes left.
“Environmentalists have not yet grasped the massive industrialization of the oceans now underway and proposed.” ...If the advisors on Biden’s climate team are serious about protecting the environment, now would be a good time for them to reconsider the massive industrialization of the oceans that is now underway. It might even make them think about preventing America’s existing fleet of nuclear reactors from being prematurely shuttered.
Wind turbines do displace pronghorn, which in return lose valuable food especially in winter months. ...“We know there is a negative effect, and we would fully expect that to translate that animals don’t eat as much, they don’t put on as much fat, they don’t survive the winter as well and have as many young, all of those are logical,” Kauffman said.
In the case of Yellow Pine Solar, Emmerich said the land where it is likely going to be built is home to Mojave yucca and desert tortoise, which is a threatened species. “The Yellow Pine area is on some really pristine public lands that contain a lot of the traditional, what I like to call, old-growth Mojave Desert areas,” he said. Emmerich described the area as an "unbroken desert landscape." In addition, it is along the Tecopa Road, which is a road that tourists use to travel between Death Valley and Las Vegas.
There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding how an offshore wind farm would impact specific species off the coast, but researchers say it will change the area’s ecosystem.
How renewable energy projects in the Mojave Desert threaten local species — and how to fix that.
In a call-to-action to its membership, Black Swamp is sounding the alarm that removing the “feathering” clause from Icebreaker’s permit will essentially sign the death warrant for many thousands of birds. The grassroots group has urged its supporters to contact the OPSB and implore it to champion bird conservation and maintain the feathering requirement.
It is notable that many of the conservationists defending wildlife from industrial wind turbines and transmission lines view the Democrats’ refurbished Green New Deal and its call for the “rapid deployment” of wind and transmission lines not as a climate dream but rather as an ecological nightmare. This isn’t the first time Democrats have shown a willingness to sacrifice wildlife for the wind industry.
Testimony before the OPSB revealed that LEEDCo had not identified this monitoring equipment technology. Testimony also revealed that in the 10 years the project was under development, LEEDCo never took actual radar data from the proposed site. In light of this, in July 2018 the OPSB staff initially proposed that the turbines not operate from dusk until dawn from March 1 through Jan. 1 until the monitoring technology was installed and working. In its final decision, the OPSB implemented its staff's original recommendation, although narrowed the restriction to eight months.
The North Texas Heritage Association has sent demand letters to two energy companies planning wind farms in Clay, Montague and Jack counties. Landowners are concerned the miles of large wind turbines will disrupt an endangered bird, the Whooping Crane, that migrate through these counties twice a year. NTHA had a study done on this and principal biologist Jennifer Blair found that these wind turbines would kill some of these birds Or disrupt their habitat.
Neighbors of the proposed Strauss Wind Energy Project south of Lompoc have filed legal action challenging the adequacy of the environmental review, calling it "inadequate, insufficient and misleading." George and Cheryl Bedford, represented by Santa Maria attorney Richard Adam Jr., have strongly opposed the wind farm planned for 3,000 acres off San Miguelito Road.
“Lake Erie is simply too small to sustain any industrial offshore wind project,” said Rich Davenport of Tonawanda, who is active with several sportsmen’s groups, such as the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and the Western New York Environmental Federation. “The towers will displace water currents for quite a radius around each turbine, impacting nearby spawning shoals (even if sited away from spawning areas, you cannot avoid the current change), coupled with the massive amounts of infrasound, or low frequency noise, each turbine will generate while operating.”
“We opposed the project on the basis that it would significantly imperil or destroy wildlife habitat and bear habitat,” she said. “The Public Utility Commission did not, frankly, rule in the way that the department would have preferred. They issued a decision in which they approved the certificate of public good for the project. They found, based on our testimony, that there were 36 acres of bear scarred beech [trees] that would be removed as part of the project.”
Gov. Mark Gordon released a draft executive order to bolster migration corridor protections. The draft, published on Dec. 23, attempted to thread the needle between the need to preserve precious wildlife and the need to support Wyoming’s lucrative energy sector. Of the eight ungulate species, or hoofed mammals, making up the one million or so migrating mammals across Wyoming, the executive order places special emphasis on two: mule deer and pronghorn. Since its release, the draft has been lauded by several groups as a winning example of science-based wildlife management policy. Still, others fear it could add one more set of hurdles for energy developers to leap through.
Bedford and his wife, Cheryl, purchased more than 400 acres of land on top of one of the hills surrounding San Miguelito Canyon in the early 1990s. With the land previously untouched, they had to build a private road leading up to their home, which sits at roughly 1,700 feet in elevation, before beginning construction.