URGENT: Only today to submit comments to save Eagles – one minute action
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Background | From IDA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to award the first permit for the “take” – killing or disturbance – of eagles at West Butte Wind Power’s proposed wind turbine site in Oregon. There are several golden and bald eagle nests within ten miles of the wind turbines, creating what USFWS calls a “high to moderate risk” of death or injury to the eagles.
Although transitioning to renewable energy is critically important, we shouldn’t pursue projects in a way that endangers the wildlife we are trying to protect. Click here to send a message to the Fish and Wildlife Service – ask them to deny the permit until West Butte Wind Power commits to preventive measures like radar or deterrents to keep eagles out of harm’s way.
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to recommend that the US Fish and Wildlife Service deny West Butte Wind Power’s permit application as it is currently written in order to comply with the 2009 Eagle Permit Rule (50 CFR 22.26).
Any programmatic take permit that does not require the immediate institution of basic preventive measures such as visual or acoustic deterrents fails to meet the issuance criterion in 50 CFR 22.26 that the project plan “(a)void and minimize take to the maximum degree achievable.”
West Butte Wind Power deserves a great deal of credit for voluntarily submitting the first permit application of its kind and committing to many progressive conservation and compensatory mitigation measures. While there is an impressive array of such measures listed, the lack of deterrents is a conspicuous and significant omission. Fortunately, this omission should be easy to correct in a future draft of the permit application.
For instance, all the turbine blades could be painted before the turbines are operational rather than after a certain mortality quota has been met. Preliminary studies suggest that the color purple attracts fewer insects, and therefore fewer bats, to turbine locations. There are several other collision prevention measures which could be used, including some mentioned in the permit application’s supporting documents, like a radar detection system that could temporarily stop turbines when wildlife enter the immediate area.
While I support the development of renewable energy infrastructure, I cannot support any project that treats the preventable killing of protected wildlife as an acceptable loss. Please deny this version of the permit application in order to comply with 50 CFR 22.26 and give the neighboring wildlife the highest protection afforded by the law. Such a commitment on the part of the US FWS and WBWP will set a strong precedent for future wind power projects.
Thank you for your time.
symbol of the free
as it should be
in total safety
Karen Lyons Kalmenson