The massive wildlife kill (almost 500 birds) at the Laurel Mountain Wind project in early October is another reason why the wind industry needs to be held to stricter regulations.
Since Laurel Mountain was negligent in letting eight high-pressure sodium lights burn, they should be held accountable. Such gross negligence should have consequences that will give the industry reasons to not make the same mistake again.
Kerlinger and Curry documented the multiple fatalities of 33 birds at the Mountaineer Wind Project in 2003 and stated that lights should never be left on at night. Their study involved a relatively small number of birds killed, but the Laurel Mountain incident showed that at least 310 blackpoll warblers, 37 ovenbirds, 24 Connecticut warblers, and numerous other species of warblers were killed. Even a Virginia rail and a sora became victims. How many tragic events like this will it take before a common bird like the blackpoll becomes endangered, or even extinct?
Wind energy promotes itself as clean and green, but that is far from the truth when forested mountains are turned into industrial projects and wildlife is killed through negligence.
Laura L. Jackson
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