Eagles in the Wind Turbines

Altamont Pass was built in the 1970s and has about 5,000 relatively small wind turbines, compared to more modern wind turbines with fan blades as long as 300 feet. Novosak said that between 2005 and 2010 it is estimated anywhere from 55 to 94 golden eagles were killed each year, as well as upwards of 718 burrowing owls and up to 9,300 passerines (your basic songbirds).

“The Fish & Wildlife Service is getting more aggressive with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act,” Novosak said. “We are requiring projects to complete an eagle conservation plan and an avian and bat protection plan. Those are measures where we sit down with the applicant and we talk specifically about birds. We get solar and wind companies that don’t know anything about birds, don’t know anything about wildlife, they sit down and have to focus with us and consider these impacts.”

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