A wind turbine project proposed for the area of the hawk watch threatens to seriously affect not only our enjoyment of the migration spectacle but the even the migration itself. Chautauqua Windpower would site 34 turbines each 400 feet high along a 5.5 mile path in the towns of Ripley and Westfield along the edge of the ridge overlooking Lake Erie. Flights of migrating raptors flow through the area proposed for the turbines, frequently at altitudes that would put them at risk for collision with the turbine blades, which move at speeds of over 200 miles per hour at their tips.
Not only are raptors at risk. This area has among the highest passerine spring nocturnal migration rates documented over the past decade in North America. Recent radar studies showed the number of nocturnal migrants to be 10 times the number found in a radar survey just 60 miles inland at Wethersfield NY, the closest project with radar information available for comparison. …
Both the USFWS and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are concerned with the way the project disregards USFWS siting guidelines. …
(Hawk Migration Studies – Volume XXX, No. 2, February, 2005)
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