This year the Nedpower wind project at Mt Storm has began construction of access roads along some 10 miles of the total 14 mile length of the project.
The effect on the deer population has been devastating. Residents report only 10% of the deer that should normally be active on the mountain top.
Whole meadow areas that usually support feeding herds of 30 or more deer every evening are empty. Social groups of 5 to 10 deer that move around cabins and property areas are gone. Occasional single females with one of last years young can be seen – but no fawns from this year.
Speculation is that the huge wide access roads have been a disaster for the deer. Exposing them to predation from coyotes and just preventing them from moving to traditional feeding grounds.
If this is the impact that construction clearing and road building is having on the deer population, then the impacts on more vulnerable species is hard to imagine.
Two reports available here – cover these aspects of habit change impacts.
posted by DRRW
6 July 2007