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Avian study needed for wind project

Goodhue County Rep. Tim Kelly and Steve Drazkowski have sent a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission requesting that an actual avian study be done for the proposed AWA Goodhue industrial wind development since it has been discovered that nothing more than a desktop study was done along with the observation of two known bald Eagle nests during the time of year that no activity was likely.

The report submitted and accepted by OES and the MPUC was based on outdated information and ignored USFWS and DNR recommendations on conducting avian studies. USFWS, escorted by local residents conducted their own quick field survey of the project footprint on April 27. Seven bald eagle nests were located, golden eagle activity was noted, 36 bald eagles were seen in a 90-minute survey from area roads.

Since that time several other nests have been located.

The AWA Goodhue mitigation suggestion submitted in their report was: Should bald eagle be found in the project area, cut down trees used for nesting and roosting and feeding.

AWA should receive no permit as the company has not completed an actual avian study with “feet on the ground,” conducted by authorities in this field.

Rochelle Nygaard