Resource Documents: Oregon (11 items)
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Author: Friends of the Columbia Gorge; Oregon Wild; and Central Oregon Landwatch
If constructed and operated, the Facility would result in adverse impacts to wildlife species, including bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). In 2009 and/or 2010, raptor surveys detected numerous bald and golden eagles and nest sites within 1,000 to 10,000 feet of proposed wind turbine locations. …
This appeal challenges three agency Orders issued by ODOE [Oregon Department of Energy], on August 10, 2020; August 21, 2020; and September 10, 2020. …
In issuing the three challenged Orders, ODOE acted in violation of the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act and the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Act by erroneously interpreting one or more provisions of law; acting outside the range of discretion delegated to the agency by law; acting inconsistent with one or more agency rules, officially stated agency positions, and/or prior agency practices without explaining the inconsistencies; acting in violation of a statutory provision; and/or issuing agency orders not supported by substantial evidence in one or more of the following ways: [50(a)–(v)].
Pursuant to ORS 469.563, Petitioners request that this Court issue such restraining orders and/or such temporary and permanent injunctive relief as is necessary to secure compliance with applicable provisions of the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Act and its implementing regulations and/or with the terms and conditions of a site certificate.
Download original document: “Amended Petition for Judicial Review, Summit Ridge Wind Farm”
Evidence of region-wide bat population decline from long-term monitoring and bayesian occupancy models with empirically informed priors
Author: Rodhouse, Thomas; et al.
Strategic conservation efforts for cryptic species, especially bats, are hindered by limited understanding of distribution and population trends. Integrating long‐term encounter surveys with multi‐season occupancy models provides a solution whereby inferences about changing occupancy probabilities and latent changes in abundance can be supported. When harnessed to a bayesian inferential paradigm, this modeling framework offers flexibility for conservation programs that need to update prior model‐based understanding about at‐risk species with new data. This scenario is exemplified by a bat monitoring program in the Pacific Northwestern United States in which results from 8 years of surveys from 2003 to 2010 require updating with new data from 2016 to 2018. The new data were collected after the arrival of bat white‐nose syndrome and expansion of wind power generation, stressors expected to cause population declines in at least two vulnerable species, little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus). We used multi‐season occupancy models with empirically informed prior distributions drawn from previous occupancy results (2003–2010) to assess evidence of contemporary decline in these two species. Empirically informed priors provided the bridge across the two monitoring periods and increased precision of parameter posterior distributions, but did not alter inferences relative to use of vague priors. We found evidence of region‐wide summertime decline for the hoary bat (λ trend = 0.86 ± 0.10) since 2010, but no evidence of decline for the little brown bat (λ trend = 1.1 ± 0.10). White‐nose syndrome was documented in the region in 2016 and may not yet have caused regional impact to the little brown bat. However, our discovery of hoary bat decline is consistent with the hypothesis that the longer duration and greater geographic extent of the wind energy stressor (collision and barotrauma) have impacted the species. These hypotheses can be evaluated and updated over time within our framework of pre–post impact monitoring and modeling. Our approach provides the foundation for a strategic evidence‐based conservation system and contributes to a growing preponderance of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry that bat species are declining.
Thomas J. Rodhouse, National Park Service and Human and Ecosystem Resiliency and Sustainability Lab, Oregon State University—Cascades, Bend
Rogelio M. Rodriguez, Human and Ecosystem Resiliency and Sustainability Lab, Oregon State University—Cascades, Bend
Katharine M. Banner, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman
Patricia C. Ormsbee, Willamette National Forest, Springfield, Oregon
Jenny Barnett, Mid‐Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Burbank, Washington
Kathryn M. Irvine, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Bozeman, Montana
Ecology and Evolution. 2019;00:1–11.
First published: 11 September 2019
Author: Smallwood, Shawn
On behalf of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Wild, the Oregon Natural Desert Association, Central Oregon LandWatch, the Audubon Society of Portland, and East Cascades Audubon Society, I write to comment on the Request for Amendment 4 for the Summit Ridge Wind Farm, which requests a postponement of construction start and end dates for the project and which proposes an amended Habitat Mitigation Plan (January 2019). I primarily wish to comment on (1) the suitability of the habitat assessment underlying the amended Habitat Mitigation Plan, and (2) the need to update baseline surveys, project impact predictions, mitigation measures, and post-construction monitoring protocols. Updated surveys and analyses are needed in part because over the near-decade that has passed since the primary baseline study (Northwest Wildlife Consultants 2010), science has made vast improvements in field survey methods and in our understanding of wind turbine collision factors, displacement effects, and cumulative impacts related to wind projects. Methodology has vastly improved in preconstruction studies needed to predict project-scale and wind turbine-scale impacts, to measure post-construction impacts, and to assess whether and to what degree specific mitigation measures can be tested for efficacy. …
Skilled Dog Detections of Bat and Small Bird Carcasses in Wind Turbine Fatality Monitoring. K. Shawn Smallwood, Doug Bell, Skye Standish. 16 February 2018
Comparison of Wind Turbine Collision Hazard Model Performance Prepared for Repowering Projects in the Altamont Pass Wind Resources Area. K. Shawn Smallwood and Lee Neher. 7 January 2017 (Updated 5 April 2018)
Addendum to Comparison of Wind Turbine Collision Hazard Model Performance: One-year Post-construction Assessment of Golden Eagle Fatalities at Golden Hills. K. Shawn Smallwood. 10 April 2018
Download original document: “Smallwood – Re: Summit Ridge Wind Farm – Request for Amendment 4”
Author: Kolar, Patrick; and Bechard, Marc
ABSTRACT: Quantifying the rate of turbine collision mortality for raptors has been the primary focus of research at wind energy projects in Europe and the United States. Breeding adults and fledglings may be especially prone to collisions, but few studies have assessed the consequences of increased mortality and indirect effects from this type of development activity on reproduction. We examined the influence of wind turbines and other factors on nest success and survival of radio-marked juveniles during the post-fledging period for 3 sympatric breeding Buteo species in the Columbia Plateau Ecoregion (CPE), Oregon, USA. Nest success for ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis) decreased as the number of wind turbines within the home range buffer (32 km²) increased. There was no effect of turbines on nest success for red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) or Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni). Of 60 nestlings radio-marked from all 3 species, we found no evidence that any were killed as a result of collisions with wind turbines after fledging. This was likely due, in part, to the limited size of the natal home range and the relatively short duration of the post-fledging period. However, juveniles of all 3 species hatched from nests in areas of greater turbine density were more likely to die from predation or starvation just after fledging and prior to becoming independent compared to those in areas of lower turbine density. Taken together, these results suggest that wind turbines affected reproductive efforts by all 3 species to some degree, but these effects were greater for ferruginous hawks compared to the other 2 congeneric species. The causes of this negative association are unknown but likely represent some combination of breeding adults being killed from turbine collisions, disturbed from activities associated with the increasing wind energy development in the area, or displaced from portions of their home range to minimize the risk of disturbance or death. The potential for these effects necessitate that planning of future wind energy facilities be considered at larger geographic scales beyond the placement of individual turbines to limit development near raptor breeding areas.
PATRICK S. KOLAR and MARC J. BECHARD
Raptor Research Center, Department of Biological Science, Boise State University, Boise, ID
The Journal of Wildlife Management; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21125
Volume 80, Issue 7, September 2016, Pages 1242–1255
Download original document: “Wind Energy, Nest Success, and Post-Fledging Survival of Buteo Hawks”