Articles filed under Impact on Birds from Oregon
Big plans east of Bend may come down to a small bird, the sage grouse. Central Oregon's first commercial wind farm could be up and running as soon as next year, unless it runs into environmental or other obstacles its backers cannot overcome. The $220 million project would be built on private land 30 miles east of Bend. However, the project is facing some scrutiny over it's impact on the wildlife habitat.
A 10,000-acre ranch that stretches into both Crook and Deschutes counties could be the site for Central Oregon's first commercial wind farm. ...But some environmental and wildlife groups point out it could also further threaten sage grouse and harm other animals. "Our point of view is we want to support renewable energy products. But just because it's renewable energy doesn't mean there aren't impacts," said Brent Fenty, executive director of the Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association.
The wide open spaces and natural terrain and wildlife of Southeastern Washington are fading, and some residents would like the encroaching effects of urbanization toned down, such as a proposed project that would place 35 to 50 turbines on Rattlesnake Mountain. More than 30 people showed up Saturday at the Richland Community Center for a meeting to oppose a proposed windmill farm at the base of the mountain. ...Rick Leaumont, chairman of the Audubon Society's conservation committee, agreed that urgency in protesting the project is necessary because about 238 bird species have been documented in the area, and would be effected by the windmills. "Wildlife needs some kind of solitude, a place that is theirs," Leaumont said. "Any location on the mountain would be a problem."
Wind farms apparently aren't quite as harmless and "green" as promoters like to say. It appears they may present a threat to eagles and hawks, especially along the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington. This should be no great surprise. There is nothing that man can do that does not exact some sort of price on the rest of nature. The trick is finding the lowest price. ...But when it comes to birds, the price gets much steeper. It is feared that with hundreds or even thousands of these windmills close together, they could start exacting a heavy toll on large birds that live in those regions as their native habitat.
Wind farms apparently aren't quite as harmless and "green" as promoters like to say. It appears they may present a threat to eagles and hawks, especially along the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington. ...Wind farms consist of tall windmills with three big blades each. Already they have exacted a price - by altering the view of the barren hillsides where they've been set up. ...But when it comes to birds, the price gets much steeper. It is feared that with hundreds or even thousands of these windmills close together, they could start exacting a heavy toll on large birds that live in those regions as their native habitat. ...If it turns out that the windmills kill large numbers of big raptors, those proud "Blue Sky" signs on people's lawns might well disappear. It's one thing to consume power when the side effects include some air pollution far away or damage to fish at Northwest dams. But to be contributing to the demise of eagles that are batted out of the sky by whirling blades, that would be something else.
By December 2007, more than 1,500 turbines will be churning out electricity in the Columbia River Gorge. Scientists are also concerned that since the turbines are nearing along the ridge of the gorge, canyons and shrub-covered rangeland, the natural habitats of the birds could be at risk. ...Wildlife biologists in Oregon and Washington state say the turbines are taking toll on raptors and other birds and it may limit expansion of clean wind energy.
A proposed wind farm on Seven Mile Hill near the tiny town of Mosier, Oregon is the centerpiece of the trouble that stems from development near a protected scenic area. The Cascade Wind Project, proposed by UPC Wind Partners, has thus far drawn serious opposition from not only residents of Mosier, but throughout the Gorge and beyond. The farm would be built just outside the Scenic Area boundary, and the 389-foot-high turbines of the 40 towers would be clearly visible from many areas in the Gorge, including Interstate 84 and McCall Point Trail. "This proposal is a slap in the face of the protection rights that everybody in the Gorge has had to live up to for the past twenty years," says Mike Rockwell, a real estate agent who lives in Mosier. "It's simply not a wise location."
The rapid expansion of wind energy farms in the Columbia River Gorge's shrub steppes could put hawks, eagles and other raptors on a collision course with fields of giant turbines and their 150-foot blades. ...Nationwide, collisions kill about 2.3 birds of all varieties per turbine per year, studies show. But birders say those numbers are meaningless because the totals make no distinction between abundant and rare species. Golden eagles and ferruginous hawks -- a threatened species in Washington -- already are few in number, said Michael Denny of the Blue Mountain Audubon Society, and even a few fatalities could prove devastating. "We'll have certain species in sharp local decline," Denny said.