August 14, 2012
Letters, Vermont

Bird Genocide at wind sites

Rutland Herald via Grandpa's Knob Wind Project 13 August 2012

In Europe they call it “Bird Genocide at Industrial Wind Sites.” In Germany alone 382,000 birds were destroyed by wind farms. Included in this study where birds of prey and smaller birds. In Spain in 2002, it is estimated that 11,200 birds of prey, 350,000 bats and 3 million small birds have been killed. A single turbine kills 20 to 40 birds per year. Spain has 25,000 turbines and at 20 kills per turbine this results in 500,000 birds killed. Multiply that by 30 years and that amounts to 15 million in Spain alone.

As a resident of West Rutland and the proposed industrial wind development on Grandpa’s Knob, not only will we have an ecosystem completely destroyed but as in the European study countless birds including migrating birds will be destroyed. It is a scientific fact that birds of prey hunt on mountain ridges. The US Fish and Wildlife Service states that wind towers should not be near wetlands or other areas of bird or bat concentration. It is also illegal in the US to kill migrating birds.

We all have a vested interest in protecting our wildlife. Peregrine falcons were recently removed from the endangered species list in 2005. Given that peregrine falcons use the ridgelines to hunt, as do other struggling and endangered raptor species, industrial wind projects could halt or reverse the progress that has been made in their comeback.

Pat Trepanier
West Rutland

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