GWVAS Updated Position on Wind Farms

March 9, 2020

The Officers and Directors of the Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society support the development of clean, alternative energy sources that can reduce the United States' dependence upon fossil fuels, nuclear power, and other polluting and/or hazardous means of energy production and use. However, we believe that alternative energy sources that are promoted as being environmentally friendly must be demonstrably so.

Having witnessed in recent years the impacts of natural disasters that can be attributed at least in part to a changing climate, and in light of recent reports concerning climate change’s consequences for birds and other wildlife and their habitats, we understand that the transition to clean, renewable forms of energy must be a priority if recommended and/or established goals for limiting global average temperature increases are to be realized and the worst impacts of a warming planet are to be avoided.

Given the likelihood that the impacts of a changing climate on birds, bats, and other wildlife will be far more devastating at the species level than would be the impacts of wind power generating facilities on individual populations, we encourage the development of wind power generating facilities that are properly sited to minimize the facilities’ impacts on resident and migratory birds, bats, and other wildlife, and we encourage the incorporation of strategies to alter turbine speed and/or operation during times when birds and bats are likely to be negatively impacted by the rotating blades. We further encourage the incorporation of all existing and developing technologies that could help to reduce bird collisions with turbine blades and that could discourage bats from frequenting wind power facilities. We oppose any and all rules that would grant “take” permits that would allow wind power facilities to injure and/or kill bald and/or golden eagles and state or federally listed threatened or endangered species. Finally, we demand that operators of wind power facilities be required to abide by all federal and state laws that are designed to safeguard birds, bats, and other wildlife, laws that include, but that are not necessarily limited to, the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.