Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City

Burroughs Audubon Society announces ...

Birds and Wind Development

Wind power can be a bird-friendly form of power generation, but it can also adversely affect birds and bats. In 2009, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) estimated that 440,000 birds per year were killed by U.S. wind turbines.1. More recently, researcher K. Shawn Smallwood, known for his work at Altamont Pass in Alameda County, California, has estimated 573,000 bird fatalities per year, including 83,000 raptor fatalities, from wind turbines in the United States in 2012.2.

Birds can die in collisions with turbine blades, towers, power lines, or related structures. They can also be impacted through habitat destruction from the siting of turbines and infrastructure. Some birds, such as sage-grouse, are particularly sensitive to the presence of turbines and can be scared away from their breeding grounds up to several miles away from a wind development. Source: American Bird Conservancy

It was recently disclosed that Element Power of Portland, Oregon, has leased land in Missouri's Holt County for development of the Mill Creek wind power project.3. Located between Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge and the state's Nodaway Valley Conservation Area to the east, the development would span from north to south between Maitland, MO, and Oregon, MO and cover over 25,000 acres. The company claims that the project will generate 200 megawatts of electricity which it will sell it to Kansas City Power & Light Co.

All that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can do is offer the developer guidance on appropriate laws and the permit process for incidental take of protected and endangered species. The State of Missouri also has few regulations on the siting of such development. BAS members brought this project to the attention of the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and have been instrumental in forming a coalition of groups in opposition to this project. Please join us in educating yourself about the proper siting of MO wind power projects to protect migrating birds and oppose this extraordinarily bad location for development.

1. Manville II, A. M. (2009), Towers, Turbines, Power Lines, and Buildings Steps Being Taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Avoid or Minimize Take of Migratory Birds at these Structures. Proceedings of the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics, pp. 262272

2. Smallwood, K. S. (2013), Comparing bird and bat fatality-rate estimates among North American wind-energy projects. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 37: 1933. doi: 10.1002/wsb.260

3. http://www.elpower.com/holt-county-prepares-for-wind-farm-video

Congress passed the RESTORE Act in the recent Transportation Bill - a provision to dedicate 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster to Gulf Coast restoration. Penalty amounts could range between $5 and $21 billion dollars. Read the statement released by Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold on June 29, 2012. Also, see the report Strategy for Restoring the Gulf of Mexico - Recommendations to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.

We are announcing a new project: An HONOR GARDEN at the BAS Library. Donations made will be used for expanding the native plant gardens, landscaping, beautifying our new water garden, and ongoing maintenance. Donations will honor loved ones and friends, especially our Burroughs members, past and present, with donors and recipients permanently recognized at the BAS Library and Nature Center in Fleming Park. Click here for a donation form, then print and send to: Marcia Hawk, 3616 Saddle Ridge Dr., Independence, MO 64057. The recipient or their family will be notified of your donation. Thank you for your support!

2014 International Year of Family Farming

The United Nations has designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming to recognize the impact that smallholder farmers from Iowa to India have had on enriching the global food system. This diverse coalition of farmers has been at the forefront of the movement to address the most pressing issues facing our food system today including biodiversity protection, climate change mitigation, improving nutrition, and the promotion of social stability. Although World Food Day happens only once a year, family farmers, are all working to fight for food justice and food and nutrition security all year long. World Food Day is October 16, 2014.

General Meetings:
Burroughs meets on the first TUESDAY of each month, January through June at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City, MO and September through November at the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Public Library in Merriam, KS. Please see the general meetings page for more details! Come for coffee and cookies around 6:15 p.m. ~ business and program begins at 6:45. Guests are always welcome!

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