Wind Farm Allowed to Kill Endangered Birds

26 May

California-Condor_Wikipediaby Kelly Fuller / American Bird Conservancy

Washington, D.C., May 24, 2013 – Today the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published the Record of Decision and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion for the Alta East Wind Project in California, which would for the first time allow a wind farm to kill an endangered California Condor without danger of prosecution. Fewer than 250 California Condors remain in the wild.

In response, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is calling on the Department of the Interior to reverse the decision, charging that allowing the legal killing of one of the most imperiled birds in the United States threatens endangered species conservation efforts across the country.

California Condors almost became extinct in the 1970s. Only a desperate, last-ditch decision to bring all the condors into captivity—followed by a careful and extensive program to breed and release the birds into the wild—has saved the condors so far. Even after decades of effort, the population has been slow to recover. The total condor population numbers approximately 400 in both the wild and in captivity.

“This massive recovery effort has cost millions of dollars and been the life’s work of many talented people. But why should the privately funded zoos and other conservation groups that raise the majority of the money necessary for this work continue doing so when a condor’s life can be thrown away with the stroke of a pen by the federal government?” asked Kelly Fuller, American Bird Conservancy’s Wind Campaign Coordinator.

“The Department of Interior has signaled today that it is willing to sacrifice the money and hard work that are spent on private conservation efforts to recover endangered species in order to build wind farms. ABC is extremely concerned about the negative effects that this decision could have not only on the condor recovery program, but also on other recovery programs that rely on public-private partnerships, such as for Whooping Cranes,” added Fuller.

California Condors have been listed as endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1967.

4 Responses to “Wind Farm Allowed to Kill Endangered Birds”

  1. J May 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    As an employee of the company building the Alta East project, and a concerned citizen of our enviornment and how we choose to take care of it, let the record show that there has yet to be 1 Condor killed by my company or the turbines themselves. There is a very intellgent, dedicated eviornmentalist team that works for the company and tracks Condor mirgations regularly. If any danger at all it possed to the birds, specific sites/turbines will immediatly be shut down. Stating that this new report will allow the company to ‘kill birds’ is very misleading. As a techncian dedicated to moving our country and world off fossil fuels to renewable energy I take great offense to your wording in this blog. And again, rest assurred ALL efforts are taken to preserve the lives of any and all wildlife in the area.

    • Rabb!t May 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      Which part of the wording offends you? I am offended that the Federal government has permitted, or allowed, a wind farm to kill endangered birds with no legal repercussions, while someone killing a condor for any other reason would face legal repercussions. Does the harshness of the statement not draw attention to this double standard?

  2. cayuga May 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    I’m glad that person who works for the company is offended! Good Job! Glad they are reading the posts too! Keep up the good work!

  3. occupycjnielsen May 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    This is getting to be more of a talking point than a serious issue. There needs to be more digging before more perpetuation of these stories. Clean energy is a mortal threat to King CONG. There have been no complaints or issues from other countries outside the U.S. that have more extensive wind farms.If it was really serious, Audubon Society and other wildlife groups have not had issue with wind farms. I think this is a non-issue.

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