Energy Development - the New Land Use Sprawl? We've been inundated with concerns about how proposed energy projects can pose threats to Swainson's Hawks and other raptors - both in nesting areas and in migration corridors. Governments are now fixated on building green energy. Of course it makes sense. But not at locations or with technologies that sacrifice our wildlife. Below are some of the recent projects we have been working to stop or to improve mitigation. We've had some successes - better mitigation and projects that were not approved. For example, County of Sacramento declined to consider wind turbines at its Sanitation plant bufferlands.
Our Wind Energy Policy 2012
American Birding Conservancy petitions US Fish and Wildlife Service for better regulatory control over wind turbine impacts on migratory birds. Click here to go to their site. You can help.
Wind Farm Oaxaca's Isthmus of Tehuantepec - two to three million raptors pass through this part of Mexico on migration and we are investigating 14 wind projects in different stages of development in the Isthmus. Cumulative impacts could be significant; the impacts of one poorly sited or poorly operated facility could be significant. We are unclear what the regulatory and monitoring framework is and will be on these projects. Will migrating hawks be flying well above the rotor swept area? We are trying to learn how migrating raptors will be protected as wind energy resources are developed in this migration corridor. Email us in English or Espanol if you have information or can help with research and advocacy for migrating raptors.
Solano County Wind Energy Corridor - Inadequate Mitigation for Raptor Mortality. Cumulative impacts of all projects reach 218 raptors per year killed in this corridor. We've been commenting consistently on the new projects but not achieving much better mitigation. Though there is a technical advisory committee, it meets very little and is not an independent scientific panel. Recently three Swainson's Hawk mortalities have been reported - one each in 2009, 2010, 2011. Email us for copies of our comment letters.
CEMEX Wind Turbine in Habitat Corridor - FOSH joined with Yolo Audubon, Tuleyome and other local wildlife advocates in December 2011 to appeal the Yolo County Planning Commission decision to allow a wind turbine in the Cache Creek riparian corridor. The Mitigated Neg Dec did a very poor job of assessing the risks and impacts. The Board of Supervisors adopted a different location and more mitigation, including requiring that the applicant get a permit from California Department of Fish and Game.
Solar Energy needs of California's Swainson's Hawk population during nesting season depend a great deal on the quality of foraging habitat in close proximity to traditional nesting sites. The further that parents must go to feed young, the more energy the process consumes. That's why protecting foraging habitat next to successful nesting sites is a cause we endorse.
City of Sacramento recognizes Sutter Landing Park grassy mound proposed solar installation was wrong location.
City of Woodland recognizes Solar Project Proposal in wrong location.
Kern County/LA County Antelope Valley Massive Solar projects and the Desert Renewable Energy Habitat Protection Plan. We've had some success here but the number of projects is staggering. Email us for copies of our comment letters.
Central Valley Solar Projects in Fresno and Madera have been approved without adequate mitigation for impacts on Swainson's Hawks and other wildlife. Here are copies of two recent letters. Thanks to Defenders of Wildlife, our letters helped result in better mitigation being adopted for these projects:
Placer Solar,Fresno County - this project was withdrawn by the developer as a condition of our settlement agreement to end litigation over the lack of mitigation for Swainson's Hawk foraging loss.