November 25, 2017

More Killing of Bald Eagles To Make Room For Environment Destroying Windmills

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It’s official. The world, right along with the United States, has gone freaking mad. Consider, if you will, that in wind power projects, developers have to apply to the Department of Interior to get permitted for the “incidental” killing of bald eagles, “from both the construction and ongoing operations of renewable energy projects”. These permits, as they are with other permits of their kind, are good for 5 years.

According to the Heritage Foundation, the Department of Interior has a formal proposal to allow such granted permits, only for renewable energy projects, to last for 30 years.

From the reader who sent me this link, he says, “Depends on whose ox is being gored here doesn’t it.” And here’s an example of what is meant. In Maine, the state has been trying unsuccessfully for several years to get a like kind permit, called an “Incidental Take Permit”, for Canada lynx. This permit would release the state from liability for trapping Canada lynx unintentionally. Overwhelmingly nearly all incidentally taken lynx are released unharmed. Bald eagles get sliced and diced from windmill blades.

Maine cannot get a permit for this and the result is a seriously hampered effort by trappers to kill coyotes. Not only are coyotes killers of Canada lynx, but they are also destroying Maine’s white-tail deer herd.

It would therefore appear to me that the U.S. Government is very much willing to risk the killing of more bald eagles to protect their wind power projects, that have been proven as environmental destroyers but turn their backs on the biological needs of fish and game agencies to be able to properly manage wildlife.

What obvious two-faced belligerence!

Tom Remington

  • DC

    We recently learned the the USFWS ‘accidentally’ leaked the draft version of this proposal to the American Wind Energy Association [the biggest wind lobbying group in the world], early, so that they would have plenty of time to draft their response and recommendations…..while every other U.S., Citizen [if they knew about it at all] only got 90 days to respond.

    Kill the Eagles to put up turbines whose only purpose is to line the pockets of BIG campaign donors, with Tax Payer money……..

    The corruption is sickening!

    David P. Corrigan
    Registered Maine Master Guide
    Fletcher Mountain Outfitters
    Concord Township, Maine

  • Sewallwoman

    Tom if any of us kill an eagle which we would not we are criminal.
    If the turbines brutally do so it is excused . It is high time for this inhumane environmental travesty be brought to the light but our government has no issue with murdering it’s own symbol. Truly unforgivable the inefficiency of wind energy and trade off of ultimate destruction of nature.

  • qwenky123

    For the greater good Komrad, Kill the flying devils with the new icon to absurdity, wind turbines, supported by the Obama regime.
    And remember,”From Each according to their Means, To each according to their Wants”!
    Hum..who said that?
    But 5 year plans are all the same good are they not, and most successful?

    • TRemington

      The 5-year plan allows for review. For those not familiar with an “Incidental Take Permit” application process, a plan has to be devised as to what and how and when things are going to be done and to provide reasonable data and statistics to show what should happen. An approved plan will be revisited in 5 years to determine if the plan is working, if too many protected animals are being taken, etc. 30 years? Are you kidding me? Do you know what can happen in 30 years?

  • The threat to Maine’s resurgent bald eagle population from industrial wind power projects is very real. Take, for example, First Wind’s “Rollins Wind” project in Lincoln Lakes region. As a local citizen, I testified that there were three nesting bald eagle pairs on Upper Pond, Folsom Pond, and Silver Lake, all within a half mile of where the turbines were being placed. The Upper Pond eagles were a quarter mile away and just 400 feet below a cluster of 6 turbines. We all know eagles (and osprey) fish. Not only does Lincoln Lakes include the 13 lakes, but the Penobscot River, where there are other eagles nesting, but to the east there are two “thousand acre bogs” on Mattakeunk Stream and Passadumkeag River. The hunting range of the eagles and ospreys encompass this entire area that now has 40 wind turbines stretched 7 miles down the spine of ridges in the middle of all these rich wetlands.

    Both Maine Audubon and the Natural Resources Council of Maine endorsed First Wind’s application, which was filled with erroneous information including the “bird study” being the recycled one done in Topsfield for First Wind’s Stetson Wind project. DEP “rubber stamped” the application.

    Folks, if we don’t stop the proliferation of these environmentally devastating wind projects, this Lincoln Lakes scenario will be replicated 50 more times across the breadth of our natural resource-rich state just to reach the arbitrary goal of PL 661, the “Wind Law”. With built up states like Connecticut having RPS mandates for 20% renewable electricity by year 2020, we will end up being nothing but a vast wind turbine plantation. I guarantee there won’t be a single utility-scale wind project built in Connecticut, but Maine will end up being the host to satify their RPS. Say goodbye to already severely challenged wildlife habitat and to Maine’s vaunted “Quality of Place” as the vista from every lake and every ridgeline becomes ruined by industrial wind turbines.

    Every outdoors sportsman and wildlife lover must join the fight and tell Congress to end the Production Tax Credit subsidy (PTC) and be prepared to advocate repeal of PL 661 in the next Legislature. It was a colossal mistake and is having devastating ramifications in pursuit of the folly of useless wind power.

  • Gempaint

    Bald Eagle flies into Rotor Sweep Zone in Canton Mountain Wind study. will posr site later….gotta run

  • Penny Gray

    We have one known golden eagle in Maine. Her name is Virgil Cain and she was born near Angus King’s industrial turbine project in Roxbury. If she is killed, will anyone care? Maine Audubon doesn’t think she’s important, nor does the NRCM. I use to belong to both organizations. What hypocrits! The wind industry claims very few raptors are killed by their big machines, which makes one wonder, why the 30 year extension? Why haven’t any industrial wind developers been charged with the killing of these endangered raptors? A Maine man was just sent to jail for shooting one yet thousands are being killed by these monstrous wind turbines. The world has indeed gone mad when Americans are so easily brainwashed into truly believing that the only way to save this planet is by destroying it.

  • March 26, 2010

    To the Editor;

    While preparing to speak about industrial wind at an upcoming town meeting, I was going over some informational documents pertaining to this new phenomenon sweeping across our state. As I perused The US Dept. of the Interior’s ‘Guidelines for Building and Operating Wind Energy Facilities in Maine’, I became incensed.

    The guidelines were designed for the Wind Industry. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with ensuring the safety and viability of this country’s wild and aquatic creatures, goes to some length to inform the developers of wind turbine installations how to site their energy facilities for minimal impact on those species. I felt hope as I began to read. Perhaps there actually was a government agency stepping up to the plate and doing what was right… doing its job! But it didn’t take me long to realize that, once again, America was dropping the ball. It was obvious that one more government agency has been told that Industrial Wind is ‘environmentally friendly’, and therefore, they must allow its presence on the unspoiled mountaintops of Maine.

    The report deals specifically with wildlife laws applying to wind power, including the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty. Throughout the report wind industry developers are ‘encouraged’ to study in advance the potential adverse effects to native wildlife. They are ‘encouraged’ to develop site evaluations. They are ‘encouraged’ to incorporate measures to avoid and minimize risks. When it comes to tampering with wetlands, the Wildlife Service ‘strongly supports’ a sequential approach to ‘avoid, minimize, and mitigate wetland impacts’.

    I couldn’t believe what I read. Not once did this report from the department which is charged with protecting our living, breathing natural resources say, ‘You WILL study the potential adverse impacts on our wildlife!’ or ‘You WILL incorporate measures to avoid risks!’ And even if they DID issue those directives, the developer still had all the power. For it is the developer who hires the consultants and scientists for these studies. These experts don’t work for the government, or for the wildlife. They work for the Wind Industry. That is a direct conflict of interest, no matter how you look at it.

    To do this right, the Service should stipulate what types of studies are done, and the duration and amount of detail required for each one. And while the developers absolutely should pay for the costs of the research required, that money should be put into an escrow account overseen by a third party with no bias. And it should be the Service which chooses the biologists and specialists, not the developer. That is only good common sense.

    But the lack of firm direction and oversight was not what infuriated me the most. When discussing the wildlife and the potential to do it harm, these guidelines only pertain to certain species; eagles, Canada lynxes, migrating birds and bats, and the like. Our native creatures which are not ‘protected’ seem to be given no credence at all. What about the effects these industrial turbines will have on our moose population, which move to the high ground in the winter for the forage and protection and less-encumbering snow depths? Those sheltered areas will be cleared of many of the softwoods that they rely on. Our deer herds have suffered recently, too, from harsh winters and massive logging operations. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife admits they know very little about the effects that these industrial developments will have on the foraging and hunting abilities of our native creatures, or how they will affect their mating habits, reproduction capabilities and hibernation instincts. And yet, these other species don’t seem to be taken into account when ‘encouraging’ developers to ‘utilize’ the Service’s guidelines.

    And then, there is the ‘take’. The US Department of the Interior defines it thusly: “‘Take’ means to pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb.’ And ‘disturb’ under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, means to agitate or bother “to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause…injury to an eagle, or a decrease in its productivity by substantially interfering with its normal breeding, feeding or sheltering behavior.”

    Understand this: It is illegal to ‘take’ those animals on the aforementioned lists of endangered or protected species. You and I would be in big trouble if we molested, disturbed or shot at any of those animals. Big trouble! That’s as it should be. And yet–and I’m quoting from the guidelines again–‘If take of a listed species is anticipated, wind developers are encouraged to contact the Service to discuss obtaining an incidental take permit’. ‘A permit is necessary to avoid potential liability for take.’

    Instead of advocating for a ‘no take’ policy, the department charged with safeguarding our endangered and protected species is looking out for the well-being of the wind industry! They are telling them in advance that if, in fact, the developers do foresee the ‘taking’ of these special animals, they should get a permit to do so, first. So that they won’t be held liable!

    This is wrong. However one looks at these policies and the way they are written, they are simply wrong. Skewed. Biased towards one particular industry, and at the expense of our native wildlife.

    There are so many reasons why these guidelines should be scrapped, and why a real set of uncompromising standards should be written–standards that the wind industry must adhere to, just like the average Mainer has to.

    I could go on indefinitely. Instead, I will point out one more gem from this set of guidelines designed for the burgeoning Wind Industry. It relates to migratory bird and bat ‘mortality events’. The Service says that if more than twenty-five individual birds or bats are ‘taken’ in a twenty-four hour period, that ‘should’ be reported to the Service within twenty-four hours. Any less than twenty-five? Those bird and bat deaths can be summarized in annual reports provided to the Maine Field Office. I’ll bet the wind industry hopes only 8,759 birds and bats die at each industrial wind development every year. It would surely cut down on the amount of paperwork the developers ‘should’ provide to the Field Office.

    It’s time to put a stop to this madness. We’re dallying where we’ve no right to be in the first place. Big Wind should not get special dispensation when it comes to the health and well-being of this land’s inhabitants, be they human or wild. Please get involved and make your voices heard.

    Karen L. Pease

  • Oh, right! After trying to post ALL DAY LONG, it finally takes something when I hadn’t finished! Sheesh….

    I was going to preface that comment by saying that this was a Letter to the Editor I wrote 2 years ago, which is even more relevant today. I’ll also post the comment written for the USFWS when it was ‘rewriting’ its policies….


    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) asked for public comments as it works to rewrite policies for grid-scale wind developments. At issue, as always, is whether to bend to the desires of the corporate wind industry and create a set of lax, voluntary rules and policies, or set high standards which are mandatory, in order to protect America’s wildlife; wildlife that has been at the mercy of human beings since we first appeared on the scene.

    I urge regulators to enact–and enforce—strict rules pertaining to wind facilities. Over the past several years, as industrial wind has proliferated across the country, wind developers have had the advantage. As a relatively new industry, there was scarce data in the United States pertaining to the effects these developments have on our wildlife. But as more and more ‘wind’ is built, anecdotal stories are coming to light wherever these are situated. And in places like my home state of Maine, wind developments are sited atop our mountains—many of which are not easily accessible—and the damage to our native fauna goes mostly undetected. Nature has a way of disposing of bird and bat kills via carrion eaters and scavengers before adequate ‘counts’ can be recorded. And as far as our four-footed wildlife, eye-witness reports from citizens living near the facilities built thus far say much of the wildlife has disappeared. Additionally, the bedrock atop Maine’s peaks must be blasted and soils excavated in order to build the turbine pads and the miles of slope-side roads to access the summits. Erosion and run-off, as well as hydro-fractures, are serious concerns. Our native brook trout spawn in the clear, cool waters of our upland seeps and springs, and many other species depend on our wetlands and vernal pools for their very survival. Many species may be impacted by the high, low and ultra-low frequency noises and vibrations of the turbines, by the impacts to water quality and habitat fragmentation during and after construction, and by the hundreds of miles of roadsides, crane paths and transmission lines which will be kept vegetation-free with the use of herbicides.

    We must weigh impacts versus benefits. The ‘value’ of this undependable, intermittent energy source which cannot be stored and which must spread out over hundreds of miles of our rural and wild areas does not justify the ‘taking’ of this country’s indigenous creatures. I ask that you do what common sense tells you, rather than what industry and a current political climate advise that you do. There are no ‘do overs’ in this business. Please, make sure we err on the side of caution—and on the side of those who cannot speak for themselves.

    Below is an excerpt from a letter to the editor, written after I attended a public hearing on Trans-Canada’s “Sisk Expansion” in the Boundary Mountains of Maine in May of 2010.

    Kill Babies Here, but Build an Orphanage Over There…

    In the murky world of Industrial Wind permitting, it’s referred to as “mitigation”.

    Today, I attended the Land Use Regulation Commission’s technical hearing for the Sisk Mountain/Trans-Canada proposal to show support for the citizens opposing the development of another of Maine’s beautiful and rugged mountains. Three environmentally-minded agencies (Maine Audubon, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Natural Resources Council of Maine) were opposing a portion of the development… not all of it, but a section. Each representative stated their agency’s reasons for opposing the placement of 400 foot tall turbines on the south end of Sisk Mountain; one of the Boundary Mountains between Maine and Canada, along the historic Arnold Trail. One wanted to protect a rare tree species; another, a rare bird; and the third… the wilderness experience in a remote-feeling outpost. After their testimony, Trans-Canada’s razor-sharp attorneys cross-examined these representatives. It turns out that these same three environmental organizations had endorsed Trans-Canada’s Kibby Mountain wind project just a few miles away, and the wind developer’s lawyers quoted their own earlier testimony back to them.

    They made the intervenors look like fools.

    But those red cheeks and shuffling feet were well deserved. These agencies are each charged with protecting a segment of Maine’s natural resources. In my opinion, they shouldn’t have endorsed the Kibby Project in the first place. They should have been taken to task, should have had their words thrown back at them. And when the Trans-Canada fire got a little too hot, what happened?

    Oh, this was good!

    One expert attempted to clarify his agency’s position on the Kibby project. He stated that they never actually ENDORSED the wind turbine development at Kibby Mountain… they simply withdrew their opposition because Trans-Canada had enabled them to purchase a large parcel of land elsewhere to put into a conservation easement. They had received “mitigation”, and so they withdrew their opposition. And that gentleman–that expert–went one step further. He stated that if Trans-Canada wished to offer similar “mitigation” for the Sisk proposal, they would again consider withdrawing their objection.

    I was appalled.

    Before the cross-examination was over, another of the three agencies admitted to the same thing… that they had sacrificed that which they are duty-bound to protect in exchange for something else of value. That the natural resources of Kibby had been important, but not so important that they couldn’t be forfeited if that agency received something bigger and better. It was justified, you see… it was all for the greater good.

    That saddest part of this whole thing? Our government endorses this practice. After all, “mitigation” is written into Maine’s misguided Expedited Permitting Law, LD 2283—now called the Maine Wind Energy Act. If opposing parties can reach a “meeting of the minds” then the desired development will be approved; LURC or the DEP is saved the trouble of having to agonize over a decision; and the corporate wind lobby edges that much closer to reaching former Governor Baldacci’s goal of 2,700 megawatts of land-based wind power by 2020.

    Mitigation. Kill babies here, but build an orphanage over there.

    I guess that makes it all okay.

    Karen Bessey Pease
    Lexington Twp., Maine

  • enroncrooks

    Time to send nasty-grams to the Dept of the Interior.

  • sandcanyongal

    It’s Feb 2013. If 30 year eagle takes are approved I will consider this to be a war against my environment and it’s ecosystems. I consider clean air and full complement of wildlife to be my birth right, not to be stripped away by robber barons.