Wyoming Wind Farms Have Not Been Kind To Birds
The first fine handed down for a bird killed by a wind turbine was to a windfarm near Casper, Wyoming.
Rather than going after the problem of turbines killing birds the Obama administration offered a permit program to allow wind farms to kill a certain number of birds a year.
That doesn't sound too environmentally friendly.
Collisions with rotating wind turbine blades kill a variety of birds in Wyoming — from passerines to raptors. Exactly how many birds — and whether mortality rates might pose a threat to local and migrating bird populations — remains unknown, according to state and federal wildlife officials. (Wyofile).
Those claiming to be environmentalists will attack the oil and gas industry for drilling in and near-prime wildlife habitats — such as the greater sage grouse. Yet nothing is said of the impact of wind farms as more turbines are planted in those same areas.
That’s the message of a former federal wildlife biologist who is sounding the alarm in an effort to encourage less harmful development as Wyoming’s wind energy is anticipated to boom. (Wyofile).
'Most of the [Wyoming wind energy] development is just going off like a rocket right now, and we already have eagles that are getting killed by wind turbines — a hell of a lot more than people really understand,' Lockhart, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, said.
Where these turbine farms are being built is the “heart and soul” of golden eagle habitat in North America, he claims.
Think there are a lot of wind farms now? Some hope to double the number of turbines in the region by 2030. Let's think for a moment about how that will affect the bird population.
'The Fish and Wildlife Service has provided an allowable take for those [individual] projects of 10 to 14 eagles per year,” Lockhart said. “You multiply that out by the 30-year project life — that’s a hell of a lot of eagles, and they can’t sustain that kind of impact.' (Wyofile).
So why is it that the oil and gas industries are fined and dragged through court for impacts on the environment, yet wind farms are given a pass?
Why are wind farms sold to us as if they do not have any negative impact?
Why do groups like Wild Earth Guardians hail wind farms as a solution yet at the same time ignore the damage wind farms do to the very wildlife they claim to protect?
The story from Wyofile goes into great detail and is worth reading.
An estimated 538,000 birds are killed by land-based wind turbines each year in the U.S., according to an article by the American Bird Conservancy analyzing data from the U.S. Wind Turbine Database. A FWS estimate suggests an average 234,012 bird kills annually, as of 2017. The FWS was unable to respond to WyoFile’s inquiries in time for this story.