Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wind Development ~ cancelled over endangered species

Friday 4/1/2011 (XEL), an electric and gas utility reported that they have cancelled plans to construct a 150 – megawatt wind project in North Dakota because of the potential harm their project may have on endangered and threatened bird species. The company cited uncertainty over the cost and timing for mitigating the potential environmental impact.

More here...


in june of 2008 ~ as reported by the Watertown Daily Times Iberdrola Renewables suspended it's application for the Horse Creek Wind "Farm" they admitted that the Indiana brown bat was a major concern for this action.

The fact that the project would be near a known Indiana Brown Bat hybernaculum coupled with the devistation to this species from White nose syndrome were major factors in this decision.

"Once we learned about white nose syndrome, it only enhanced our pre-existing concerns," said Robyn A. Niver, endangered species biologist with Fish and Wildlife.

Other concerns about the site include the potential for killing bald eagles, destroying small wetlands and pushing building-shy grassland birds away from the area.
Ms. Niver said the service has similar concerns about Acciona's St. Lawrence Wind Farm and BP's Cape Vincent Wind Farm, both in Cape Vincent. Those projects are also within 20 miles of Glen Park.
"For Indiana bats, we're not concerned with all wind projects in the state, just in certain areas," she said. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Specific to this project, the occurrence of Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus)

Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus)
In January 2009 the DEC region 6 ~ Watertown wrote a letter to Tom Reinbeck, then Cape Vincent town supervisor . This letter expressed concern about threatened and endangered species , and the impact that Acciona’s industrial wind project would have on these species specifically Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus) Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda). Indiana Brown Bat Blandings turtle.

Excerpts below from DEC letter to Cape Vincent town Supervisor T. Reinbeck

The Short-eared owl is listed as an endangered species and the Norther Harrier is listed as threatened in New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations Part 182.

The Department is concerned that take of these species may occur from the loss and fragmentation of habitat utilized by listed species due to the clearing, grading, ad construction activities.

There is also a potential for take to occur from the operation of the facility throught the collision of listed species with wind towers ad blades and displacement of listed species due to disturbance caused by the operation and maintenance of the turbines.

In addition, the take of other listed bird species whose occurrences have not necessarily been documented within or adjacent to proposed project locations may result from this project by virture of the project’s location within the St. Lawrence Plain Grassland Focus Area.

This focus area supports key habitat for grassland bird species such as Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) (NYSDEC Threatened) and Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) (NYSDEC Threatened). …
Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) (NYSDEC Threatened) Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) (NYSDEC Threatened). …

Finally, two non-bird listed wildlife species have also been associated with the project area — Blandings turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) (NYSDEC Threatened) and Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) (Federal and NYSDEC Endangered). …

Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) (Federal and NYSDEC Endangered). Researchers hold a pair of bats captured last summer on Fort Drum. At left is an Indiana bat, at right the more common little brown bat. Photo COLLEEN WHITE / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES

Blandings turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) (NYSDEC Threatened)

Below is the letter from the DEC.

Written to Supervisor Reinbeck 1/2009

link here to a YouTube video where you can observe ~ Mr. Edsall Cape Vincent Planning Board Chairman address the concerns that the DEC region 6 has about the endangered species in Cape Vincent ,including the Indiana Brown Bat~ Edsall says that the DEC region 6 of Watertown ~they have no Idea what is going on in the world ~ these people here are like ~ the Janitor telling a teacher what curriculum to use.

Acciona will be doing post construction studies ,this means that they count dead birds and bats. Will counting dead bird and bat carcasses protect endangered species? Will counting dead carcasses prevent other species from becoming endangered? DEC Region 6 Letter to Supervisor Reinbeck

link here to DEC letter to Cape Vincent and Dec letter to Clayton RE: endangered species


Anonymous said...

There have been several Short-eared owls spending the winter on the Mortensen farm on the Valley Rd. Many more have been observed around the Ennis Mason farms on Mason and Gosier Rds.
If turbines come, they will never be seen again.

Anonymous said...

biologist found a strong population on county rt 9 of blanding turtles and have been studying them on a large parcel of private land yet acciona says there is none .more bullshit and lies .

Anonymous said...

if my memory is right didn't edsall play some game using blanding turtles to stop a road or deveopment near wilson bay ?