NextEra Energy is trying to ease fears about the fate of a pair of bald eagles near Parkhill.
Middlesex Lambton Wind Concerns is holding a “celebration” near the nest on Kerwood Road May 25 to bring awareness to the fact the eagles will be living within 187 meters of a substation and 800 meters of two wind turbines if the company goes ahead with its plans for the Bornish Wind project.
Muriel Blair of the Middlesex Lambton group is concerned. “It will displace the eagles, even the construction itself will displace them,” she says. “It’s the noise, it’s the vibration that displaces them.”
NextEra raised the ire of landowners, First Nations, environmentalist and anti-turbine activists this winter when it cut down an eagles nest in Haldimand County to make way for a project.
Blair is worried that could happen again if the public isn’t aware of the birds, so the get-together was planned to raise awareness.
But NextEra Community Relations Consultant Derek Dudek says in a letter to MLWC the company isn’t about to cut the nest down. “NextEra Energy Canada understands the concerns the community has about the eagle nest. We share those concerns. That is why we want to reassure you and the community that we have no intention to remove or relocate this nest,” says Dudek in the letter.
“We want to assure you that, should the studies we are conducting reveal that our proposed turbine locations interfere in any way with the eagles, then the location of the turbines will be adjusted accordingly so that they do not interfere with the eagle habitat. This is being done in consultation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Environment.
“Protecting the eagle habitat is a priority and we will not remove or relocate the nest.”
Blair is not reassured by the words. “They have said before that they will protect this and they will protect that; it is really just talk,” says Blair. “We can’t just sit back…they have said a lot of things in the past and people have been left with their community destroyed…Are they going to move everything or are they hoping that the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) will give them another bye to move the nest.
“To have him (Dudek) say the protection of eagles is foremost in their mind, it’s hard for us to believe.”