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Golden eagle expert calls TransCanada’s eagle study “bogus”  

Credit:  August 20, 2011 - Friends of the Boundary Mountains and Save The Eagles International ~~

New independent study of raptors in the Sisk/Kibby area needed

Jim Wiegand, noted wildlife biologist and Vice President USA, Save the Eagles International, has written to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to demand a new independent study of the Golden Eagles that migrate, and probably nest, in the area of Sisk and Kibby Mountains in Maine’s Boundary Mountains.

Wiegand found TransCanada’s report on the Golden Eagle to be “terrible.” He said the report is “evasive, and appears to have been manipulated for a desired end result. They sent biologists into the field at times and places they are least likely to see nesting Golden Eagles.”

The Corps is now determining whether to grant a permit to TransCanada Corporation for a new industrial wind power project on Sisk Mountain. Wiegand sent a copy of his letter to the local group Friends of the Boundary Mountains, who have been fighting to protect Sisk and Kibby.

Wiegand reviewed TransCanada’s biological study for the Kibby Expansion Project and the response of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who are advising the Corps on whether to issue the permit. A vital purpose of the study, prepared by TRC Engineering for TransCanada, is to determine if there are nesting eagles in the region of the project, especially the endangered Golden Eagle. If there were nesting Golden Eagles, it most likely would stop the project.

Bob Weingarten of Vienna Maine, president of the local group, said the Fish and Wildlife Service should require that TransCanada conduct a new eagle survey during peak migration periods and look for eagle nests in the most likely locations. “It’s a criminal offense to kill an endangered Golden Eagle and there’s a good chance that putting wind turbines on Sisk Mtn. will do that,” said Weingarten.

“This wind project will likely keep Golden Eagles from ever re-establishing a viable population here in western Maine. In fact, they may be nesting here already but without a thorough survey we’ll never know until one or more are found dead. The people of western Maine have been duped by TransCanada’s disgraceful study,” said Weingarten.

Wiegand became aware of the plight of the Golden Eagles here in Maine from an article published in the Bangor Daily News and written by local activist Nancy O’Toole of Phillips, ME.

Wiegand’s research on the Golden Eagle goes back decades, having done research in the Altamont Pass region during the mid 1970′s and later on in the 1980’s and early 1990’s in the heavily forested wilderness of Northeastern California.

Friends of the Boundary Mountains is a grassroots organization formed to safeguard the Boundary Mountains from development and to conserve the area for wildlife habitat and the traditional uses of recreation and sustainable forestry. The group has been in existence for 16 years.

Save The Eagles International is a platform regrouping bird lovers and ornithologists from 10 different countries, who think that we cannot count on mainstream ornithologists and bird societies to save bird life from the windfarm threat. These derive much of their income from the windfarm business, and that creates a powerful conflict of interest that clouds their vision and corrupts their conscience.

For Further Information Contact:

Bob Weingarten 207-293-3798
bpw1@midmaine.com

Jim Wiegand 530 222-5338
jim@jimwiegand.com

Source:  August 20, 2011 - Friends of the Boundary Mountains and Save The Eagles International

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.


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