Preserving the Symbol of our Nation's Heritage
Although the Article 10 process is a seriously limiting factor in our fight against industrial wind here in New York, there's an equally frustrating and ill-conceived national campaign designed to promote clean energy that has not only given us subsidies for wind turbines, but challenges what we all consider to be our national symbol of freedom, the bald eagle.
The Obama administration is revising a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) rule that allows industrial wind companies to operate their turbines and sanction up to 4200 bald eagle deaths and injuries per year without a penalty. They also propose a change for the killing of golden eagles, based on efforts the companies take in that case to minimize the losses. The current law states that industries can apply for a “take” permit that would essentially give permission for them to incidentally kill a certain number of eagles in the operation of their business. The permit can be given for a time period of up to 5 years. One of the problems with the current law is that it is voluntary and so wind corporations are not applying for it. The government agencies have limited resources to go after industries that kill eagles. In this situation it is unlikely that wind industry employees would ever volunteer numbers about how many eagles they are killing each year in the operation of the wind turbines.
The USFWS response to the voluntary nature of the law and the lack of enforcement is to offer a special option for wind corporations to incidentally kill more eagles and to do so for up to 30 years instead of 5. The director of the USFWS is quoted as saying the proposal will "provide a path forward" and is "a great tool to work with to further the conservation of two iconic species."
If you find it hard to agree with those statements, take a moment as we prepare to celebrate our nation's birthday to let the USFWS know your thoughts regarding these proposed revisions to the bald and golden eagle regulations, which it administers under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). There is an open comment period through July 5th. Here is the link: Eagle Permits: Revisions to Regulations for Eagle Incidental Take and Take of Eagle Nests. On the right hand side of the page you will see a “Comment Now” button or scroll down and use the listed address to mail your comments.
Here in New York State we understand the precarious nature of the bald eagles’ recent history. There was just one pair of nesting bald eagles in New York State in the 1970’s. Over the last 40 years through the actions and voices of dedicated birders the species has survived and is thriving. Within the last several years it has become more common to see an eagle soaring over our beautiful landscape.
The increase of wind turbine farms in the US has led to a growing number of birds killed by colliding with the blades of the wind turbines. The American Bird Conservancy states, “The annual loss of birds from wind turbines was estimated as high as 573,000 in 2012.” They go on to say that if the wind industry continues expanding over the US as it plans to, we could reach a time when 5 million birds are killed by collisions annually. The USFWS rule would allow this reprehensible destruction of birds to continue without mitigation. See http://www.berrymaninstitute.org/htm/human-wildlife-interactions-journal/spring-2016 for specific information regarding this issue.
We had a relatively quiet raptor migration season along the lake with weather influencing the migration pattern pushing the raptors to the south. For those who were able to help with the Genesee Valley Audubon Society count in April and May, please enter your data into hawkcount.org. Many thanks for your efforts.
Many thanks to all who came out and helped SOS raise money for our continued fight against Lighthouse Wind at the White Birch in Lyndonville on June 5. Great music and great fun!
SOS will have a booth in Lyndonville to celebrate the 4th -- Stop by and say hello!
Information sessions are planned, to be followed by a showing of the documentary “Big Wind”. The same information will be shared at each session.
July 13 – 7 p.m. – former Assembly of God Church, 8400 Haight Rd., Barker
July 18 – 7 p.m. – White Birch Golf Course, 1515 N. Lyndonville Rd., Lyndonville, NY
Click here for the 2016 Town Board Meetings
Don't forget to post your comments to the PSC:
http://lakeontarioturbines.com/act-save-ontario-shores.htmlIf you need a subject to write about, check out our talking points on our web site:
SOS is 100% funded by generous local individuals. Please consider joining this work by giving what you can. SOS is a not for profit corporation and it is not a tax exempt organization, so donations are not deductible for tax purposes.
Lyndonville, NY 14098
PO Box 216
Save Ontario Shores, Inc.
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