RED WING – Some critics of the AWA Goodhue wind project in Goodhue County contend that the 32,000-acre project would put wildlife, including bald eagles, in danger.
With a site permit reconsideration hearing at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission expected in late October, two county residents have signed sworn affidavits that claim an active bald eagle’s nest was intentionally damaged within the project area. Goodhue County Attorney Steve Betcher also presented that information in the county’s PUC filing for permit reconsideration.
Karen Groth, the wife of project critic Steve Groth, says she saw a low-flying helicopter “hazing” the nest with its blades on neighboring property along County 50 Boulevard in rural Zumbrota on Sept. 1. Mary Hartman of Rochester, also a project opponent, says she’d previously viewed the nest and asserts the nest appears to have been significantly damaged.
The incident was reported to Pat Lund of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Sept. 2. Disturbing or destroying a bald eagle’s nest violates a number of federal laws.
The location and number of bald eagle nests in a project area play a role in the siting of turbines. Read about the controversy in Wednesday’s print edition.
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