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Birders needed to speak up on Great Lakes wind turbine issue  

Credit:  By Nate Swick | ABA Blog | American Birding Association | December 2, 2013 | aba.org ~~

Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds descend on the lakeshore of nortwest Ohio every spring, piling up on the south side of Lake Erie before making the jump over the big water. In recent years, thousands of birders have traveled there specifically to enjoy them, making springtime in Ohio – and specifically the Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s Biggest Week in American Birding – a must-visit event on the birding calender.

Unfortunately, the globally important bird habitat near Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in northwest Ohio is being threatened by poorly-sited wind energy development at the nearby Camp Perry Air National Guard facility and Lake Erie Business Park. Black Swamp Bird Observatory has a campaign to convince elected officials to stop these projects. They need the help of birders around the world to make this happen.

The most important thing birders can do is to write, call, or email elected officials and let them know that you less likely to visit the area if they are not proper stewards of this highly bird-sensitive area.

We urge you to call or write an email or letter to all of the following elected officials. In order to make it as easy as possible for you to do so, a sample letter can be found below.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur

One Maritime Plaza – Sixth Floor

Toledo, OH 43604

(800) 964-4699 – Tel: (419) 259-7500

Fax: (419) 255-9623

Email electronic form:

http://www.kaptur.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content

You can also post a comment on Kaptur’s facebook page:

—–

Senator Rob Portman

37 West Broad Street, Room 300

Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: 614-469-6774

Toll-Free: 1-800-205-6446 (OHIO)

Email electronic form

—–

Senator Sherrod Brown

200 North High St.

Room 614

Columbus, OH 43215

tel (614) 469-2083

fax (614) 469-2171

Toll Free 1-888-896-OHIO (6446)

Email electronic form.

—–

Senator Randy Gardner

Senate Building

1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor

Columbus, OH 43215

(614) 466-8060

Email electronic form/

 <<<<SAMPLE LETTER>>>>

 Dear__________:

As a birder who spends money in your District, I would like to voice my intense objection to the wind turbines being installed at Camp Perry and the Lake Erie Business Park. I am aware that these projects are moving forward in spite of the opposition to this site from state and federal wildlife agencies, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Ohio Environmental Council, American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited, American Birding Association, and a whole host of other state and national organizations.

To erect large wind turbines in an area that plays such a critical role in the survival of migratory birds shows a blatant disregard for one of the region’s most precious assets. These actions also show great disrespect to birders who bring millions of dollars to northwest Ohio because of the quality bird habitat in the region.

I request that you encourage Camp Perry and Lake Erie Business Park to halt these projects and work with the organizations and agencies above to find more suitable locations for these turbines.

If you allow this type of development to continue in these highly bird-sensitive areas over the objections of so many knowledgeable organizations and agencies, including organizations who are working tirelessly to promote birding and bring economic development to your district, I will be far less likely to visit your area and spend money.

Thank you for addressing my concerns.

Sincerely,

–=====–

The second thing people can do is to add their name to our petition. Here are the instructions.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory would like to invite birders from around the world to register objection to wind energy development in the highly bird-sensitive areas of Ottawa County, Ohio, specifically the wind turbine projects at the Camp Perry Air National Guard facility and the Lake Erie Business Park. These projects are near the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and the Navarre Marsh, areas of habitat that are critically important to migratory birds.

Rather than an online petition, we opted for a special email address at BSBO where we offer a 100% guarantee that we will not sell your information to advertisers! Your information will ONLY be shared with elected officials.

Please follow these instructions to the letter to save the BSBO staff time and effort.

1) Send an email to: ResponsibleWindEnergy@bsbo.org

2) Put ‘RWE’ in the subject line

3) In the body of the email, include the following information in this exact format:

Name

City, State, Zip

Email Address

4) OPTIONAL! – A brief comment (1 – 3 sentences) about why you object to wind turbines in these bird-sensitive areas.

The BSBO staff will create a spreadsheet with all of this information and include with our second official letter of opposition which we will send to elected officials. Birders can be the key factor in swaying the opinion of these elected officials!

Please do this by December 7!

–=====–

Businesses and elected officials in northern Ohio know more than most the economic engine that is this incredible natural spectacle, one that birders will travel to see year in and year out. We truly have the ability to make a real difference here, both for birds and for the people who increasingly see the money that birders bring in. Let’s make a stand for properly sited and managed wind energy infrastructure that is good for birds and the birders who care about them.

Source:  By Nate Swick | ABA Blog | American Birding Association | December 2, 2013 | aba.org

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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