Put wind project on hold until reliable bird survey is done

Sault Star
Ireland’s Vortex Wind and DPEnergy intend to construct a 36 turbine, 60 megawatt project east of Montreal River on the Lake Superior highlands. Peter Harte, president of Vortex Wind Power, said in a news interview (Calming the windy worries, Sault Star, April 2) that the developers had spent three years studying the area under Ontario’s stringent environmental assessment requirements, concluding that no significant bird flyway exists in the area of their site.

What did the study reveal? During the 2007 fall and 2008 spring raptor migrations one environmentalist counted birds on 10 partial days for a few hours each day. The report outlined that he accumulated a total of 34 hours of observation. Based on this limited count frequency we are asked to believe the wind proponents’conclusion that no significant migration route exists here.

Thirty-seven species of birds were identified in the fall migration season. Of 739 birds observed, 108 were raptors. During spring migration, 38 species numbered 180 birds of which 48 were raptors. Based on an average of counting birds for 3? hours over only 10 days in two years, Mr. Harte concludes that birds will not be impacted by the project.

Three of the raptors identified in the count were peregrine falcons, a species at risk. Only seven peregrine falcon nesting locations exist in Lake Superior Provincial Park that borders the wind project. Can citizens trust the proponents that the few peregrine falcons that nest here will not be impacted by their project? Since peregrine falcons can forage within 20 kilometres from their nest sites, this creates a concern that individual falcons could die at the wind turbine site. A few losses may compromise the genetic diversity within this small population, jeopardizing their survival in the park.

There are serious questions as to whether the Phase One Avian Assessment met all of the protocols which the Canadian Wildlife Service, (CWS) Environment Canada sets out in The Recommended Protocols for Monitoring Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds.

The following CWS protocols appear to have been overlooked in the avian impact report. Why?

* Recommended “area searches” in different habitats to determine an accurate species list.

* A night radar survey to count migrating songbirds and raptors.

* A minimum daily bird count period of six hours.

* Intensive count studies over several days per week.

* Interviewing permanent and seasonal area residents to determine their traditional knowledge of bird nesting locations.

As citizens, we are encouraged by our provincial politicians to blindly trust industrial wind companies to do the proper studies and to trust that our government agencies will verify that these studies are scientifically sound. But how can we trust reports that have not met the scientific criteria before being released to the public?

What is required is that the Bow Lake Wind Project be put on hold, monitoring protocols adhered to, and a realistic avian study be conducted with an unbiased, independent, scientific peer review.

Bob Moore, Batchawana Bay

8 thoughts on “Put wind project on hold until reliable bird survey is done

  1. “The avian fatality rate at Wolfe Island for the 2009-2010 year is the highest annual avian fatality rate yet documented in eastern North America.” B Evans, ornithologist, Ithaca, New York

    That’s a statistic for the Ontario governement to be proud of.

    It will be even worse if wind turbines are installed at the IBA in Prince Edward County.

  2. You and I both care………….most urban dwellers that get wind energy don’t.
    It is not a wind developer deal breaker.
    Don’t misunderstand me………..I do care.

  3. WELL SAID BOB. I TOO HAVE AN INTEREST AND CONCERN ABOUT THIS PROJECT. THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT RAMMED THIS THROUGH AND AGAIN AS OTHERS HAVE SAID” THEY DO NOT CARE” AS WELL AS THIS IRISH COMPANY. THAT STUDY IS INCOMPLETE AS I SEE IT. I HAVE A CAMP IN THIS AREA AND HAVE SEEN MANY FLOCKS OF GEESE AND BLUE HERONS. BOW LAKE IS ALSO HOME TO MANY OSPREY THAT NEST AROUND THIS VERY REMOTE WATERWAY. MY CAMP ON NEGICK LAKE WILL BE IMPACTED AS WELL AS ON THOSE THAT USE 67 ROAD. I HAVE SEEN MANY EAGLES BOTH BALD AND GOLDEN FREQUENTLY AS WELL AS MANY OWLS. THE MARSH LAND AROUND BOW LAKE IS ALSO A BREEDING GROUND TO THE PROTECTED WOOD TURTLE. THE WILDLIFE WILL VANISH. THE FISHING AND REMOTENESS WILL ALSO BE LOST. PRINCE LAKE WAS A BIG HYPE AND NOW THIS? WE DO NOT NEED THIS ADDED ANXIETY.

  4. Wind industry “studies” are the same kind of sham as the tobacco industry’s “studies” years ago which concluded that tobacco use caused no harm. We know what the result was of that one. We can expect no different now with wind industry studies. The general population in this province needs to know these facts. We can’t just keep on telling our small group of informed folks. Get the message out.

  5. Well JayDee..I know we are are trying.
    Some papers will not publish negative input against wind.
    Some will.
    And then some smaller papers editors may be friends of supporters.
    It is also difficult because these eco groups have infiltrated into our education system and educators trusting this informmation are brainwashing your kids about the environment.
    Wind is connected to this of course.
    This federal election is huge.
    Liberals
    NDP
    Green
    All support what they “think” is green energy.
    The only party that has an honest environmnetal agenda are the conservatives.
    If they go down we are doomed financially.
    We are trying to take the focus back on Cap and Trade agendas of the parties.
    Healthcare is a provincial issue…so if Ontario has having difficulties..thank McGuinty.
    Maybe he should take the money he is giving eco sounding nonprofits and foundations that are nothing more than his propanda machines and use it to help Ontarians.
    Exposing this is important.
    But we are talking about Billions in profits ..from your pockets…there are a lot people working for them pushing the wind agenda.
    The CBC could be a world class radio station…and it has great programs but their biased agenda , which is easily seen on their site and on their guests and topics , make me want to cut all funding and fire the lot of them.
    I would pay Harper to do it.

  6. Does anyone know the author of the cartoon (censor-matic)? I´d like to use it, and give credit to him/her,

    Mark

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