Wind Turbines proposed in Barn Owl (Endangered Species) habitat – file your comment now

barn-owlEnvironmental Registry
“Boralex Inc. – Port Ryerse Wind Farm Limited Partnership has submitted a proposal in relation to an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) with respect to Barn Owl in order to construct and operate a Wind Generation Facility near Port Ryerse, Broken Front Concession, Geographic Township of Woodhouse, County of Norfolk.”

The proposal to construct and operate a Wind Generation Facility has the potential to adversely affect Barn Owl as described in regulation. The proposed permit conditions would provide benefits that exceed
the adverse effects on Barn Owl and their habitat.

Barn Owl is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List, in O. Reg. 230/08 of the ESA, as Endangered.

Subsection 9(1) of the ESA provides for the protection of endangered, threatened (and extirpated) species on the SARO List.

Habitat protection under the ESA applies to Barn Owl (subsection 10(1)). The specific habitat of Barn Owl has been prescribed by section 24.1 of O. Reg. 242/08.

The ESA allows some activities to proceed under a clause 17(2)(c) permit with specific conditions if: avoidance and reasonable alternatives have been considered; adverse effects will be minimized; and an overall benefit will be achieved for the species in Ontario. Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the ESA involves undertaking actions to improve circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is more than “no net loss” or an exchange of “like for like”. Overall benefit is grounded in the protection and recovery of the species at risk and must include more than mitigation measures or “replacing” what is lost. Read more and file comment

Bats mortality around wind turbines a concern to researchers

bat-killed-by-wind-turbine-bladesPrairie Post, by Stephanie Labbe
It has been estimated thousands of bats have been killed due to wind farms each year in southern Alberta alone.  Dr. Robert M.R Barclay, a professor and department head of the department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, says bats are mainly being killed when they get hit by the turbine blades that are moving.

“Those blades are moving fast (about 200 km per hour at the tips). Some bats are killed when they get close to the blades and fly through a zone of low air pressure. This causes the air in their lungs to expand rapidly causing internal damage, much in the way that a scuba diver who comes up too fast experiences problems,” says Dr. Barclay in an e-mail interview.

“At another level, we don’t really know yet why the bats are so close to the turbines. Most of the bats killed are migrating south for the winter and we see all across North America, a large peak in fatalities in late summer and early fall. In Alberta, this involves two main species, the silver-haired bat and the hoary bat. These spend their days in trees. So some scientists hypothesize that the bats see wind turbines as giant trees that may provide suitable roosts for the day, and the bats thus approach them. Others suggest that insects are attracted to the turbines and bats, which in Canada eat nothing but insects, are attracted to the swarms of insects. Yet another suggestion is that the migrating bats mate during their southward migration and to find each other, males and females congregate at tall trees.” Read article

Calgary student turns to crowdfunding to finish bat research because wind companies & government won’t fund it

CNSPhoto-Munro-Batsipick Canada’s Front Page
A student at the University of Calgary has turned to crowd funding to be able to finish her PhD. Erin Baerwald’s doctoral research involves gathering genetic information to determine the migratory routes of bats. The goal is to help reduce the number of bats killed during migration as a result of collisions with wind turbines.

“We think closer to two million bats have been killed in the last ten years,” she said. Baerwald says genetic research is expensive and unexpected costs have outstripped her existing funding. She says she hopes to complete her research by the summer.

Baerwald and her supporters have launched a campaign on the web site Indiegogo. The goal is to raise $15,000. “I’ve had some donations from Germany and Slovakia and from across the U.K.,” she said. “A lot of the bat community is getting behind me as well; they’re re-tweeting and sharing on Facebook and donating,” she added. Read article

Click here to help out.

Berkshire Energy Fined $2.5 million for Eagle Deaths by Wyoming Wind Turbines

dead golden eagleUnited States Department of Justice
“The charges stem from the discovery of the carcasses of 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds, including hawks, blackbirds, larks, wrens and sparrows by the company at its “Seven Mile Hill” and “Glenrock/Rolling Hills” wind projects in Carbon and Converse Counties between 2009 and the present.  The two wind projects are comprised of 237 large wind turbines sited on private and company-owned land.”

Bloomberg Businessweek, By Noah Buhayar
PacifiCorp, one of the utilities owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A:US)’s energy unit, agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle charges that its wind facilities in Wyoming killed eagles and other birds.

The deaths near the Seven Mile Hill and Glenrock/Rolling Hills wind farms violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, according to a statement today from the utility. PacifiCorp said it will pay $400,000 in fines, $200,000 in restitution to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and $1.9 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help protect golden eagles near the facilities.

“PacifiCorp is concerned about the impacts to wildlife from our renewable energy facilities and we have been diligently working with federal and state agencies to protect migratory birds,” Mark Tallman, vice president of renewable resources at PacifiCorp, said in the statement.

Berkshire, run by billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett, has been boosting investments in wind and solar, committing more than $15 billion to renewables in recent years. The projects often earn credits that can be used to reduce the tax liabilities from other operations. Read article

Lawyer at wind turbine hearing ruffles bird expert’s feathers

kerlinger2MyKawartha, Mary Riley
PONTYPOOL –The lawyer acting for the appellants at a hearing opposing the controversial Sumac Ridge wind turbine project in Manvers Township ruffled a bird expert’s feathers during his cross examination on Friday (Dec. 12). Paul Kerlinger is an expert on the effect of wind turbines on birds and their habitat. He was appearing via video link on behalf of wpd Canada, who received provincial approval last December to build five industrial wind turbines in the Bethany area.

But, the question of how industrial wind turbines could affect bird species was never answered, even after tough questioning from Eric Gillespie. The Environmental Review Tribunal is an independent body conducting the hearing in Pontypool after several groups opposed to industrial wind turbines appealed the Ministry of Environment (MOE) granting approval the approval to wpd Canada. Sumac Ridge involves the building five industrial wind turbines (two of them on the Oak Ridges Moraine), which met fierce opposition from residents. Read article

Bird Studies Canada’s (and CanWEA, MNR) July 2014 Bird/Bat Fatality from Wind Turbines Summary

birdcartoonBird Studies Canada  – why bother doing the summary if you know more than half the birds are not being collected? Why is the specific data on each projects ‘kill’ confidential? Do the wind companies own the wildlife here too? Seems like it. 

“In Ontario, 1,187 bird carcasses were found, comprising 118 identified species. Passerines were the most common fatality, representing approximately 69% of all bird fatalities in Ontario. The most prevalent passerine species found were: Golden Crowned Kinglet (9.39% of all bird carcasses found), Red-eyed Vireo (6.91%) and Horned Lark (5.39%). Raptors represented 8% of all bird fatalities, with Turkey Vulture (2.29%) and Red-tailed Hawk (3.99%) found most commonly. Gulls represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities; with Ring-billed Gull (1.59%) the most often reported Gull species. Waterbirds represent approximately 2% of all bird fatalities, with Mallard (1.29%) as the most frequently reported waterbird species.

Table 4 lists the top 20 bird species found during post-construction mortality monitoring at wind power projects in Ontario and the proportion of carcasses found of each species, listed from lowest rank (most prevalent across sites) to highest rank (least commonly found). A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.”

Table 4: The top 20 bird species found at wind power projects in Ontario based on fractional ranking and percent species composition. A full list of fractional rankings by species is available in Appendix 2.

Rank        Species                     % Composition

  1. Golden-crowned Kinglet     9.39%
  2. Red-eyed Vireo                      6.19%
  3. Horned Lark                          5.39%
  4. Purple Martin                        6.09%
  5. Tree Swallow                         8.79%

“The total number of operating turbines in Ontario as of February 2014 was 1,331 (CanWEA, personal communication) resulting in an estimated mortality of 7,250 bird fatalities (95% confidence interval of 6,236 to 8,265 fatalities) in Ontario between May 1st and October 31st based on February 2014 installed capacity.”


The mortality estimates presented here potentially underestimate true mortality as they are based solely on carcasses that fell within 50 m of the turbine base. It is expected that a certain proportion of birds and bats will fall outside of this radius, and there are several different approaches to quantifying this correction factor as can be inferred based on extrapolation of Figures 11 and 12. Zimmerling et al. (2013) reported that turbine heights were very similar (~80 m) for most turbines installed in Canada as of 2011 and estimated the proportion of carcasses expected to fall outside of 50 m to be up to 51.8% of birds, based on 4 studies that searched a radius up to 85 m. These values were further validated based on a field trial that searched up to 85 m from the turbine base (Zimmerling et al. 2013). Smallwood (2013) found that the proportion of both birds and bats that fell within 50 m of the turbine base varied with turbine height and estimated higher correction factor values for carcasses falling outside of 50 m than Zimmerling et al. 2013. Smallwood (2013) fit a logistic function to carcass distributions, and the proportions of carcasses falling within the search radius were calculated based on a variety of search radius and turbine height combinations. For 80 m turbines, carcasses were expected to fall to a maximum distance of 156 m. These findings indicate that the mortality estimates presented here may underestimate true mortality, but still allow for comparisons amongst sites and regions as long as turbine heights are similar; this is an important consideration for future investigation of landscape level factors and mitigation measures.”

Read more here

Wind turbines causing thousands of bats to die of collapsed lungs annually in Alberta: top bat expert

CNSPhoto-Munro-BatsNational Post, Sheila Pratt
EDMONTON — Thousands of bats die on southern Alberta wind farms each year, but it’s unclear what effect that is having on the overall population, says Canada’s foremost bat expert, Robert Barclay. Most of the bats die because their lungs collapse when they run into low air pressure around the tips of the wind turbines — not because they hit the towers or blades.

With wind farms now coming to north-central Alberta — including two new projects east of Edmonton — the impact on bats migrating from northern forests needs further study, says Barclay, a University of Calgary biology professor. It’s a serious issue, but with no accurate count of the province’s bat population, “it’s hard to say if turbines are killing too many,” said Barclay. “We know very little about the abundance and distribution of bats in central to northern Alberta.”

Barclay’s research, begun in 2006, uncovered the surprising fact that migrating bats are much more likely than birds to be killed by wind turbines. Thanks to their sonar bats can detect solid structures, but they cannot detect the changing air pressure that causes bleeding in their lungs. Birds’ lungs are able to withstand the pressure change.

Barclay’s groundbreaking research took place at Transalta’s Summerview wind farm near Pincher Creek in 2005. When the company noticed bat carcasses under the turbines, it asked Barclay to do a study. Barclay and his team found 20 to 30 dead bats per turbine. But that number was cut almost in half when Transalta decided not run the turbines when the wind was low and bats are most active, he said. Read article

Who gives a hoot about turbines? A barn owl, that’s who

barn-owlDaniel R. Pearce, Simcoe Reformer
PORT RYERSE – The barn owl has done what no anti-wind turbine protester in Port Ryerse has been able to do to date: halt construction of a green energy project in their village. A woman walking her dog this summer spotted one of the birds — they are on the endangered species list in Ontario — flying into a barn.

An investigation ensued, photographs of the owl perched on a woodpile were taken, and the sighting was confirmed. The evidence was then presented to an environmental review tribunal hearing, which last week slapped a five-month moratorium on the project. Boralex, the company that wants to construct a four-turbine 10-megawatt wind farm next to Lake Erie, must now apply to the Ontario government for what’s known as an “overall benefit permit” if it wants to continue with the project.

It must submit an amended plan showing how the wind farm will avoid having a negative impact on the owls and that it has explored alternative sites. It must also show it will do something to help the birds, such as creating new habitat. The tribunal hearing has been adjourned until March 31. Read article

Green energy vs. endangered species: Barn Owl

https://mothersagainstturbines.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/capture4.gif?resize=245%2C287Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc.
Appellants from Port Ryerse opposing the Boralex project
Because of the barn owls the MOE has asked for an additional adjournment of 5 months until March 31st 2015.

However, Boralex has requested an” Overall benefit permit”  for the Owl predicament.

This means they have requested to be able to disturb the owls nesting habitat
They can also get a permit if killing the birds will improve the economy of Ontario. THIS will be THE FIRST ever benefit permit in Ontario given ( or not) for barn owls . Read article

Endangered Barn owl may delay Port Ryerse Wind Farm

barn-owlBy David Judd, Port Dover Maple Leaf
The sighting of a barn owl may seriously delay construction of the Port Ryerse Wind Farm. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has confirmed that at least one of the endangered birds was spotted in the Port Ryerse area this summer. Wind farm developer Boralex last week agreed to delay construction of the four-turbine project for one month while the ministry investigates further.

If the barn owl merely stopped over in Port Ryerse on a flight to its home elsewhere, the wind farm project won’t be affected. But if the owl took up residence with a mate, the province might order a one-year moratorium on construction within one kilometre of the owls’ home. Further owl sightings could lead to a five-year moratorium.

Barn owls are an endangered species in Ontario. The province had only four pairs in the early 1980s. This summer’s sighting in Port Ryerse was the first in Ontario in about five years. Residents took photos and retrieved feathers to document the owl. Some villagers say they saw two owls and heard the owls talking at night. Many Port Ryerse people have fought the proposed wind farm since its announcement in 2011. Read article

When green energy kills

Sun News

whengreenenergykills

More than 150 hectares of Lambton County grasslands will be impacted by Suncor wind farm, group says

bobolink-bSarnia Observer, Barbara Simpson
A pair of ‘threatened’ bird species who help ensure crop survival could be in harm’s way with a proposed Suncor wind farm set for Lambton County, says a local anti-wind group. Members of We’re Against Industrial Turbines (WAIT) – Plympton-Wyoming have taken their concerns to the Ministry of the Environment after reviewing a species at risk report for the site of the 46-turbine wind farm planned for Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township.

More than 150 hectares of grasslands that are home to bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks will be affected by the Cedar Point project, said Kristen Rodrigues, who reviewed the report on behalf of WAIT-PW. “The bobolink and the eastern meadowlark are on the largest decline of any species at risk,” Rodrigues said. “They’re showing the sharpest down trend.” Bobolinks are actually among the top 10 species killed by wind turbines in Ontario, according to a Ministry of Natural Resources report. Part of the problem is these birds have been known to collide with tall lighted structures at night. Bobolinks also perform aerial mating displays, making them once again susceptible to collisions with turbines.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has prepared a recovery strategy to help restore the province’s population of these ‘threatened’ birds who are likely to become endangered unless action is taken. Suncor spokesperson Nicole Fisher said the company doesn’t believe that area bobolinks are being put at risk with the project, and instead pointed to protection measures being put in place. Read article

Where eagles fly

dead golden eagleWellington Times, Rick Conroy
The south shore of Prince Edward County (PEC), where two industrial wind turbine projects, wpd White Pines and Ostrander/Gilead are slated, is a main migration path for the endangered Golden Eagle. This has been made clear in the wpd Species at Risk report, obtained by us through a Freedom of Information request, and is confirmed on the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) website.

The wpd surveys reported an average of four golden eagles per day on each of the three survey days in November—and, according to the surveys, most were flying at blade height. This indicates there could be at least as many as 120 golden eagles migrating through the area in the month of November alone—at blade level. Presumably the birds would also return via the same pathway.

According to the MNR website, only six pairs of golden eagles nest in Ontario, but over 200 have been observed in southern Ontario, presumably migrating to nest in northern Ontario and Quebec. From the information in the Species at Risk report and on the MNR website, it appears that most, if not all, of the eastern North American population of golden eagles will pass through a killing zone of wind turbines, if these are permitted to be constructed on the south shore of PEC. Read article

American Bird Conservancy to Take Legal Action Over FWS 30-Year Eagle Kill Rule

Perching Bald EagleAmerican Bird Conservancy
(Washington, D.C., April 30, 2014) A leading bird conservation organization—American Bird Conservancy (ABC)—has announced its intention to sue the Department of the Interior (DOI), charging DOI with multiple violations of federal law in connection with its December 9, 2013, final regulation that allows wind energy companies and others to obtain 30-year permits to kill eagles without prosecution by the federal government. The previous rule provided for a maximum duration of five years for each permit.

ABC sent DOI and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) an April 30, 2014, Notice of Intent to Sue that cited DOI violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) in connection with the new eagle kill rule. ABC is being represented by the Washington, D.C. public interest law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.

“ABC has heard from thousands of citizens from across the country who are outraged that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to let the wind industry legally kill our country’s iconic Bald and Golden eagles. The rule lacks a firm foundation in scientific justification and was generated without the benefit of a full assessment of its impacts on eagle populations,” said Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of ABC’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign. Read article

Voices from the Thedford Bog: Wind turbines are “a social experiment, a mess, a failure.”

SwansFauxGreen
Protesters joined the remaining migrating tundra swans at the Thedford Bog near Grand Bend, Lake Huron, on Sunday, April 6, 2014, to condemn plans to build a bristling barrier of industrial wind turbines in what is a designated Important Bird Area. Every March some 10-15,000 tundra swans stop at the Thedford Bog and environs to rest and feed before continuing on their migration to the western Arctic.

Waterfowl scientist Dr. Scott Petrie told CBC News in 2012:
By putting the turbines in inappropriate places, it actually is tantamount to habitat loss. You wouldn’t put an office tower next to a coastal wetland, why would you put a wind turbine there?

Monte McNaughton, Progressive Conservative Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario (MPP) for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, reminded the protesters that his party’s leader, Tim Hudak, has promised, if elected, to repeal the Green Energy Act, the draconian legislation that has given unprecedented rights to industrial wind turbines over people, communities and wildlife. The Green Energy Act was enacted in 2009 in part as a response to the fake planetary emergency of man-made global warming/climate change. Read article

Tagging ducks a worthy project

turbines-birdsChatham Daily News, by Peter Epp
[excerpt] The Lake St. Clair wetlands are an important part of the overall natural infrastructure that supports waterfowl such as ducks. Lake St. Clair, along with Rondeau Bay, provide an important habitat for the millions of migrating waterfowl that use both the Mississippi and the Atlantic flyways. Ironically, it was Kingsville’s Jack Miner who helped uncover those flyways. Miner started banding geese in 1909. That very first year, the original band was recovered in South Carolina.

Within 10 years, Miner’s banding program had included thousands of geese and ducks, and helped society discover the ancient migratory pathways used by waterfowl and other birds. It was learned that Canadian geese, for example, flew as far south as the Gulf Coast states during the winter, and as far north as Baffin Island in the summer. Miner’s work eventually led to the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which made it unlawful to capture, sell or kill certain migratory birds in the United States, Canada, Mexico and three other nations.

But what Jack Miner couldn’t have anticipated 100 years ago was the development of hundreds of wind turbines in Ontario, with many of them located precisely in the migratory path of waterfowl. The Long Point Waterfowl study will also examine the impact that wind turbines have had on the movement of mallard ducks. Given the continuing controversy that exists over wind turbines in this province, that part of the study will probably carry the most interest. Read article

Tundra Swans have arrived. So have NexTerror’s Turbines.

swans bluewater

NextEra Bluewater Project going up (above), as is the Bornish and Adelaide this spring.

Thedford bog swan turbine map

Suncor defends swan study

March 24 2013- Thedford Bog, Lambton Shores - Nextera Jericho and Goshen Projects (92+64 turbines) will surround the bog.Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
A Plympton-Wyoming group opposing Suncor Energy’s plans to build a wind farm in their community says the company’s study of the potential impact on migrating tundra swans is inadequate. But, the company says it met provincial requirements in its application for environmental approval for the 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Energy Project.

That application is currently being reviewed by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment. “As part of the application for ministry approval, Suncor completed a natural heritage assessment to assess any potential impacts to significant habitat necessary to sustain wildlife, including birds,” said ministry spokesperson Kate Jordan.

That assessment will be considered as part of the review, she said. “No decisions on the proposal has been made,”Jordan added. Read article

GPS trackers to study impacts of turbines on waterfowl

duck transmitterBy Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News
[excerpt] Chatham-Kent has one of the highest concentrations of industrial wind turbines in Ontario. Petrie said he’s looked at European studies where industrial turbines have been operating for several years. He noted it was determined each turbine has a 300-metre diameter “exclusion zone” that shows waterfowl, especially geese and swans don’t fly there. There are also fewer birds seen in a one-kilometre “avoidance zone” around the turbines, he added.

Petrie said his position on wind turbines is that not every one of them will adversely affect waterfowl. “But, if you put turbines into very important waterfowl habitat and the waterfowl avoid those areas, then that’s tantamount to habitat loss,” he said. Read article

Last year to see the Swan Migration?

March 24 2013- Thedford Bog, Lambton Shores - Nextera Jericho and Goshen Projects (92+64 turbines) will surround the bog.

March 24 2013- Thedford Bog, Lambton Shores – Nextera Jericho and Goshen Projects (92+64 turbines) will surround the bog.

THE GOOD NEWS
The Tundra Swans have started to arrive. Within a couple of weeks – with luck – there should be many thousands of them and lots of other migrating waterfowl.

DEMONSTRATION
We will be having the annual information day/demonstration on Sunday, April 6 from 11am to 1pm.

REASON
NextTERROR (NextEra Energy) plans to put a wind turbine in the bog, which will impede the migration of the swans.

ADDRESS
Greenway Road at the Thedford Bog—we need support to provide information to the public who are coming to see the Tundra Swans at their stopover location. NextTerror plans to put a turbine in the bog, and many more all around the area, which will impede the migration of the swans.
Greenway Road runs south from Hwy21/ Lakeshore Rd, just east of the Lambton Heritage Museum   MAP
PLEASE JOIN US!

Continue reading

Red Tailed Hawk killed by Haldimand county turbines

raptor hawk

Canadian Raptor Conservancy Facebook
Very graphic (apologies) but MUST be seen. This is a wild adult Red Tailed Hawk from Haldimand County Ontario that was struck yesterday by a wind turbine. People that say that birds of prey will avoid wind turbines….here is conclusive evidence that it is not true. This Red Tailed Hawk has a crushed skull and both wings are broken. It was brought into our rehab unit when people found it on a walk directly below a turbine. It has gravel stuck in its feathers from where it was slammed to the ground at the turbine base. The unfortunate part about this aside from the obvious loss of life is that this is an adult male that is most likely over 6 years old and would be the local breeding male to the area. The pair would be in courtship right now. The wind turbines are put up to protect the environment but they seem to have the opposite effect. I wonder how many raptor species get killed and go undetected. I think we should be asking for 3rd party monitoring of these machines so we can see what is actually going on. It seems that the studies done before they go up are very misleading. If you find a bird injured or killed by a turbine – please document and then report.

Wrong to assume

New environmentalismWellington Times, Rick Conroy
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are wrong. Ontario Nature. Nature Canada. Both wrong. Dr. Robert McMurtry is wrong. The South Shore Conservancy is wrong. So too is the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Alvar, bird, butterfly, turtle and bat experts are all wrong. The municipality of Prince Edward is wrong. As are the majority of County residents who believed Crown Land at Ostrander Point should be preserved—rather than industrialized for the profit of one corporation.

And now we have learned that Ontario’s own Environmental Review Tribunal is wrong. A Toronto court has said so. This ought to keep Premier Kathleen Wynne up at night.

The Tribunal’s Robert Wright and Heather Gibbs spent more than 40 days hearing evidence, challenging testimony and witnesses and weighing competing claims. They began their task in a snowstorm in February; and delivered their decision on a hot July day last summer. Wright and Gibbs visited Ostrander Point. They walked around. They saw, with their own eyes, what was at stake. Read article

Atwood backs Amherst Island wind turbine opponents

atwoodBy Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
KINGSTON – Opponents of a proposed wind energy development on Amherst Island have a new ally in their fight. Canadian author and environmental activist Margaret Atwood voiced her opposition to the proposal in a letter to the Premier Kathleen Wynne, the leaders of both Opposition parties, senior MPPs and Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller.

“I was horrified to hear of the proposal to blanket Amherst Island with wind turbines,” Atwood wrote, who also tweeted her opposition to her 472,000 followers on Twitter. “Amherst is very well known as a hugely important natural site. If it is destroyed, Ontario will attract world-wide negative attention. Is this what Ontario wants to be known for?”

Windlectric Inc. is proposing to build a 36-turbine, 75-megawatt wind energy project on Amherst Island. Last month, Windlectric’s Amherst Island Renewable Energy Approval application was deemed complete by the provincial environment ministry, despite opposition from community and environmental groups that say the project is not complete. Read article

Wind turbines kill

Sun NewsEzra turbines kill

How the MNR and wind developers destroy eagle nests

MNRIt was this time last year when NextEra and the MNR were scheming to remove/destroy the bald eagle nest in Haldimand County. So I figured some might be interested in what the “Renewable Energy Coordinator” for the Southern Region of the MNR said about eagles, their nests and habitat, at the Adelaide (NextEra) ERT hearing  (2013/11/08). What is being discussed is the infamous Haldimand eagle nest, as well as an active nest in the Adelaide/Bornish and Jericho wind projects, that is too close to the massive substation, as well as the Bornish project’s turbines. Both were in proposed NextEra Energy wind projects.

Below is a snippet of NEXTERROR/ERT/MOE rationalizing their position on the obvious danger wind projects pose to bald eagles. The MOE’s witness was Joseph Halloran, who was presented as the government’s pseudo-expert about eagles/raptors/endangered species – but the odd thing was, the MOE chose NOT to qualify him as an “expert.”

Does this mean:

  1. There are no eagle experts in the MNR (or the pathetic MOE)?
  2. No credible “expert” would testify ?
  3. Like Pontius Pilate, the MOE is “washing its hands” of the eagle issue, Nexterror is on its own to explain its actions.

With all this in mind, let Mr. Halloran’s testimony provide you with insight into the mind of a government puppet.

dead golden eagleWind Energy Bird and Bat Monitoring Database
Ms. Wrightman – OK – I’m going to skip down to paragraph 15, and this is talking about the “Wind Energy Bird and Bat Monitoring Database.” Is this database information available to the public?

Mr. Halloran – So this database is managed – sort of run by Bird Studies Canada. It’s my understanding that they prepare annual reports providing mortality numbers for the province. It’s also my understanding, I believe, that it’s designed more for research approach, so I don’t believe that the general public could receive specific reports. Continue reading

NextEra’s perfect Christmas tree!

christmas tree

NextEra’s bird expert talks about ‘harvesting’ eagles

dead golden eagleFrom the NextEra Adelaide Wind Project ERT Hearing
Dr. Kerlinger, 2013/10/31 – cross-examination

Ms. Wrightman (Appellant) – Ok, I’m just going to skip to Para.36 on pg.10. And you speak here of other types of birds, American woodcock, the 30,000 birds that are allowed to be harvested, and you use the word harvest. How many eagles do you think it’s – that a wind turbine should be allowed to harvest legally in Ontario?

Dr. Kerlinger (NextEra Expert Witness)– To determine that number we would probably have to – if you look at page – same paragraphs 34 through 39. We would need to do population viability analyses. Right now the numbers aren’t even on the charts, they’re so small. That’s one of the reasons I brought this woodcock example. For certain species you can harvest 10% without having an adverse impact on the population. For eagles, it’s a smaller percentage probably that we’re not even punching through one/tenth of 0ne percent yet so we’ve got a long way to go in terms of eagle fatalities. I would recommend that would be a great study based on what Zimmerman’s already found. I would recommend to Environment Canada and CWS (Canadian Wildlife Service) to use population viability analysis or something like it to model and find out in the future how many can be harvested, especially with an increase in population before you would end up curtailing that increase or flattening the curve or making a decline in the population. You can do these models and project out to one or two hundred years. That’s how we can allow hunting for species like rails which are much less numerous as well as grouse, prairie grouse, etc. These type of models are very, very good for that.

Ms. Wrightman – So, if the wind turbine company is allowed to harvest bald eagles, do you believe that people should be able to harvest bald eagles? Continue reading

Ontario to fund study on impact of wind turbines on birds

turbines-birdsToronto Sun
LONDON, Ont. ─ Western University scientists will use a wind tunnel to how turbines affect the health of migrating birds, their findings fodder for battlers over green energy in Southwestern Ontario and the rest of the province.

Biologist Christopher Guglielmo will head the project using a special wind tunnel for birds and funding is expected to be announced Friday by Health Minister Deb Matthews.

While the impact of turbines on birds will be a focal point in the region, Guglielmo will also use the tunnel to study the effect of other human creations on the flight patterns of birds, including the growth of cities and the proliferation of tall buildings. Read article

We have to kill eagles in order to save them

w-t_eagle_collision03National Review, Robert Bryce
We have to kill eagles in order to save them.

That’s now the official policy of the U.S. Interior Department. On Friday, the agency announced that it would grant some wind-energy companies permits that will allow them to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty.

The move is an unprecedented gift to the wind-energy industry, which has been lobbying for the 30-year permit for several years. Shortly after the deal was announced, the wind-energy lobby issued a statement that would make George Orwell proud. An official with the American Wind Energy Association declared that this “is not a program to kill eagles.” It is, he claimed, “about conservation.”

Well then. We can now rest easy. Big Wind is saving eagles by getting permits to kill them. Read article

Any opportunity is coveted

Nextera Eagle NesterrorSarnia Observer
Those opposed to two wind turbine projects in Lambton County believe their ability to adequately respond to the projects’ posting on the Ontario Environmental Registry is hampered because of the holiday season. Suncor Energy wants to build 46 wind turbines in Plympton-Wyoming. The public has until Jan. 19 to respond with comments to the Registry. Meanwhile, NextEra Canada’s is proposing a 92-turbine wind projects for Lambton Shores and Warwick Township. It’s also been posted on the Ontario Environmental Registry, and public comments are being accepted until Jan. 3.

But at least the time period they’re being allowed is more than what was permitted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources almost a year ago when an eagle’s nest was removed to allow for the Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre in Haldimand County. In what had to be a deeply ironic moment for the MNR, the ministry approved the nest’s removal on New Year’s Eve – without allowing a syllable of public comment – and posted notice of the nest’s removal only a day before the deed was done on Jan. 5. Talk about a rush job.

The incident illustrated a few of the inconsistencies found with Ontario’s Green Energy Plan. For example, who would have thought that a nest for eagles – home to what is arguably one of the strongest natural symbols for a clean and green environment – would be so quickly and quietly tossed for the sake of a wind farm, itself ostensibly being developed to save the environment? Read article