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Bats at risk  

I read Chris Caffyn’s letter (Jan. 17) touting the wind energy industry’s concern over the large numbers of bats being killed by wind turbines with skepticism. U.S. Fish and Wildlife has developed guidelines for development of wind sites with regard to protecting bats and birds. Not one wind energy developer has ever come close to meeting those guidelines.

Currently there are dozens of industrial wind turbine sites operating or planned for this region alone. The wind industry’s response to this report was to terminate further research at those sites and prohibit impartial independent researchers from gaining access to most wind sites for further work. Science and impartiality with regard to wildlife seem not part of the equation wind developers consider when proposing and constructing wind turbine sites.

At present, continued wind development without impartial scientific evaluation, may be the greatest risk to bat populations, our primary natural insect control agent, in the U.S. It is easy for the industry to pretend concern, but their actions to this point indicate otherwise. A good beginning would be for the industry to start following the federal guidelines developed for this purpose.


The Patriot-News


6 February 2007

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