Fish and Wildlife Service officials plan to meet with the state Public Service Commission next week to talk about protecting endangered whooping cranes from a growing number of wind projects.
Fish and Wildlife Service supervisor Jeffrey Towner agency officials also plan to meet in Denver with 30 wind company representatives.
The FPL Energy company plans to install 667 turbines in Oliver and Morton counties starting in 2010. The counties are on a route used by rare whooping cranes that fly between Canada and Texas.
Towner says the turbine blades themselves are not as much of a problem as the transmission lines that go with them. He says the agency knows of 46 whooping cranes killed since 1956 from striking power lines.
Killing an endangered species can lead to stiff fines.
Public Service Commissioner Susan Wefald (WEE’-fald) says the PSC will look at endangered species issues when it considers the proposed wind project site application. She says FPL’s application is at least a year away.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune
The Associated Press
11 July 2008
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