JACKSON – The average wind turbine kills three to four birds a year. Operators can face penalties if their turbines kill bald and golden eagles, endangered species and some migratory birds.

That’s according to Dale Strickland, president of Cheyenne-based environmental consulting company Western EcoSystems Technology, which provided technical research for a set of guidelines published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012. If operators follow the guidelines, they can get out of penalties for bird deaths, because the government will presume they worked on good faith and didn’t intend to kill them, he said.

Strictland presented the guidelines Monday at the Snow King Hotel during a meeting for the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, a quasi-governmental state agency that’s tasked to diversify and expand Wyoming’s economy through electric transmission infrastructure.

“For the most part, the guidelines, with the exception of a few components, codified what the companies had already been doing,” he said. “They had built it into their finance structure already. But some of the smaller operators may not be able to afford the guidelines.”

The guidelines outline studies that should be conducted before and after wind farm construction, Strickland said.

“The service expects you to document the studies that are conducted,” he said. “The service wants to see some measures that reduce [birth deaths.]”

In addition to birds protected by the Endangered Species Act, operators must be concerned about species in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and species of concern, which include the Greater Sage Grouse, prairie chicken and some bat species, Strickland said.

The guidelines are for large-scale wind projects that provide energy to the electrical grid. Strickland said small-scale wind turbines are exempt.

The guidelines provided suggestions for wind farms that were under construction when the rules were published or existing turbines, Strickland said.

To date, no data has been published about how many birds have been saved as a result of the guidelines, Strickland said.

Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at laura.hancock@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

(1) comment





eagle hit

Wind turbines at Altamont Pass kill an estimated
880 to 1,300 birds of prey each year, including up to 116 golden eagles, 300 red-tailed hawks, 380
burrowing owls, and additional hundreds of other raptors including kestrels, falcons, vultures, and
other owl species. The APWRA is an ecological sink for golden eagles and other raptor species and
may be having significant impacts on populations of birds that are rare and reproduce infrequently.

"Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles are being killed per year by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass, about 20 miles east of Oakland, Calif. A 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks—as well as about 7,500 other birds, nearly all of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—are being killed every year by the turbines at Altamont."


Near Atlantic City NJ 5 industrial wind turbines were erected which are killing an average of 76 birds and bats per year per turbine(not the 1-2 that AWEA and US Fish and Wildlife publicize). This has been documented by the local Audubon society. Though to make sure not too information is known…they only study for 2 years after installation then after that….It is a shameful secret! These killed a Peregrine Falcon of which there are only 25 breeding pair in the entire state, also numerous Osprey, a Green Heron, a Dunlin and many others….is not worth it for these highly variable power producers which require full CO2 emitting backup and power shadowing. Money would be much better spent on conservation and efficiency…which have been shown to be ten times more cost effective thereby doing more for our planet




The project proposed by Wind Capital Group of St. Louis would erect 94 wind turbines on 8,400 acres that the Osage Nation says contains key eagle-nesting habitat and migratory routes. http://bdnews24.com/environment/2013/06/15/native-americans-decry-eagle-deaths

st louis mayor's office:
Phone: (314) 622-3201

8 AM - 6 PM
Monday through Friday

1200 Market , City Hall, Room 200
St. Louis, Missouri 63103


facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jay-Nixon/6517667731

governors twitter https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon

2007: NRC Report on Environmental Impact of Wind Farms

"Collisions with buildings kill 97 to 976 million birds annually; collisions with high-tension
lines kill at least 130 million birds, perhaps more than one billion; collisions with communications towers kill between 4 and 5 million based on “conservative estimates,” but could be as high as 50 million; cars may kill 80 million birds per year; and collisions with wind turbines killed an estimated at 20,000 to 37,000 birds per year in 2003, with all but 9,200 of those deaths occurring in California. Toxic chemicals, including pesticides, kill more than 72 million birds each year, while domestic cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of songbirds and other species each year. Erickson et al. (2005) estimate that total cumulative bird mortality in the United States “may easily approach 1 billion birds per year.”

Clearly, bird deaths caused by wind turbines are a minute fraction of the total anthropogenic bird deaths—less than 0.003% in 2003 based on the estimates of Erickson et al. (2005)."



Merkley, Jeff - (D - OR) Class II
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Wyden, Ron - (D - OR) Class III
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