Researchers study impact of turbines on golden eagles

Ximena Tapia, Sun-News
A New Mexico State University professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is conducting research on golden eagles being killed by wind turbines and other human-related factors.

Gary Roemer, professor for the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, is conducting a research project to identify whether certain factors impact golden eagle populations. Some of the factors that impact the eagles are electrocutions, vehicle strikes and illegal shootings, but another more recent factor is wind turbine strikes, Roemer said.

From 1997 to 2012, there were 85 eagle fatalities reported in 32 facilities around the United States. More than 78 percent of those fatalities occurred from 2008 to 2012. Roemer said there is no way to know exactly how many eagles are killed, “as monitoring programs are usually not in place at wind energy facilities.”

His research is focused on finding out where the eagles that have been killed come from. Roemer said eagles “breed throughout the Western U.S., Alaska and throughout portions of Canada, but they can move a lot.” Many eagles from northern portions of the continent, such as Alaska and Canada, migrate to southern locales in the winter, including New Mexico and Texas.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are 863 wind turbines in New Mexico, generating enough clean electricity to power about 334,000 homes. During 2016, wind energy provided 10.95 percent of all in-state electricity production. Although wind energy has many environmental benefits, it also has the potential to impact eagles and other wildlife.

“If you put a wind farm down here in New Mexico, you might not only be whacking New Mexico breeding birds, but you might be whacking birds that are breeding in Alaska or the Canadian Arctic,” Roemer said.

In January 2017, under the Obama administration, a rule was implemented that allows wind-energy companies to accidentally kill or injure eagles while operating high-speed turbines for up to 30 years. That is six times longer than the former rule, which was five years. The rule change also increased the number of eagles the companies can be permitted to accidentally kill or injure, but only under certain conditions. Read article

5 thoughts on “Researchers study impact of turbines on golden eagles

    • Ha ha ha.

      About as silly as this quotation from the article:

      “Although wind energy has many environmental benefits, [sic] it also has the potential … ”

      Good grief!

  1. How do the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, Section 11 Complainants perceive the Huron County Health Unit Medical Officer of Health’s alleged Investigation?

    Some people perceive it as a laundry; that it is not an “Investigation” at all; it is a dishonest exercise designed to waste time and allow harmful wind turbines to continue spinning and generating “profits” and to cover-up the damages already caused.

    Some people believe Ms. Erica Clark has hung herself. Allegedly smart people at the University of Waterloo suspected Complainants were being misled about the Medical Officer of Health’s authority under Section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, that a Medical Officer of Health “by a written order may require a person to take or to refrain from taking any action that is specified in the order in respect of a health hazard.”

    The Huron County Health Unit, through its front door, Ms. Erica Clark, denied that the Medical Officer of Health has the legal authority to order the turbines shut-off. Ms. Erica Clark disseminated two legal decisions about tobacco smoke, suspiciously stating that these two legal decisions proved the Medical Officer of Health would not have authority to order turbines shut-off regardless of anything that their so-called investigation might find.

    Professor Richard Mann at the University of Waterloo queried Ms. Clark about where she had received such a legal opinion. Ms. Clark refused to answer the question, irrationally stating that the Huron County Health Unit had not solicited the legal opinion, and therefore she did not need to reveal the source of the opinion. There is an obvious break in that chain of ill logic that Ms. Clark perpetrated. For all we know, it is the wind turbine company that threw the tobacco cases on Ms. Clark’s desk and said, “here, eat this”, and she did eagerly.

    Are the HPPA Complainants satisfied? Do they “Consent” to Huron County Health Unit and Ms. Clark’s interpretation of their legal responsibilities? Yes or no?

    Some people think it is similar to the laundry that some perceive has played out at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman over the last decade. “If there was anything wrong about the wind turbine situation, then surely these authorities would act,” is the faulty assumption. But in reality, these fiduciaries, by their actions and inactions, launder a bad situation, try to clean it up a bit, and pretend, “there’s nothing to see here, folks. Everything’s just as it oughtta be.” And if you don’t keep complaining about it, then you must be consenting to it.

    Never mind how much energy it takes to complain, all the while you’re being assaulted because wind turbine profiteers and incompetent public servants operate industrial wind turbine devices recklessly too close to your family and friends and neighbours and people including children you don’t even know. And maybe you’ve already shot your wad and increased your debt load at the despicable, shameful, Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal with the help or not of licensed lawyers like Julian Falconer and Eric Gillespie. And now you have nothing left to fight with.

    Property is being stolen, persons including children are being assaulted, environments and ecosystems are being damaged, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is being pi$$ed on, there is potentially a fraud festering, infilitrating the highest echelons of governments, including internationally, and this is life (and death) in Canada, one of the greatest nations on Earth.

    And by the way, congratulations to His Royal Highness, Prince Harry, and Ms. Meghan Markle about their engagement. And of course to Her Majesty, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

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