Industrial Wind Energy: Incompatible With Hunting
February 20, 2018 | John Droz, jr. | WiseEnergy.org
Go to the PDF for links to referenced information!
This insightful citizen says that legislators are being fooled by easy money promises:
“There is not enough critical thinking skills or common sense being used when
big money energy companies enter rural communities.”
In some cases wind projects are proposed for forest (i.e. hunting) lands. Every situation is a bit different but let’s use the Timbermill (NC) project as an example.
Industrial wind development can harm hunting in at least six (6) ways:
1 – Forest developed properties now may be off-limits to hunters.
The developer’s proposal says that this will entail some 15,000 acres of land in
eastern NC. Some or all of this may be fenced in. Even if the project is open to
limited hunting, for the reasons cited below, the hunting experience will be
2 – Ecosystem destruction due to extensive clear cutting.
Based on similar situations this means about 1000 acres of forests, distributed
throughout the larger parcel, will be clearcut for roads, turbine sites, etc. That will
not only destroy the ecosystem within the boundaries of the project, but will also
likely affect neighboring hunting lands as well.
[Note: In logging-related clear cutting, trees are allowed to regrow. In this situation mechanical and/or chemical means will be used to keep trees and other larger vegetation from regrowing.]
3 – Ecosystem destruction due to turbine avian and bat killings.
Thousands of birds will likely be killed annually, and raptors are of particular
concern. Additionally, large numbers of bats will also likely be exterminated. Both
bats and birds are an integral part of a healthy environment, and their wholesale
destruction will have serious ramifications to the region’s ecosystem.
Some studies indicate that there may be a decline in certain insects (e.g. here and
here), which can affect the whole ecosystem. In certain cases it has been determined
that a wind project might actually act as a “population sink.”
4 – Ecosystem degradation due to turbine noise.
It is well known that animals are affected by noise. In fact the range of sounds they
can hear, and their sensitivity to sounds, exceeds that of humans. Of particular
concern is the low-frequency noise generated by modern industrial wind turbines.
Noise Effect on Wildlife is a good overview. Impacts of Noise on Wildlife references
over 100 studies! The Effect of Noise on Wildlife: A Literature Review references a
few dozen studies. How and why environmental noise impacts animals.
Here are six studies about animal birth defects. But industrial noise goes beyond
just harming wildlife. The effects of noise on ecosystem explains how plants are
also affected. This study goes into it further: Noise Adversely Affects Plants.
5 – Ecosystem degradation due to turbine weather effects.
Modern industrial wind turbines, as tall as 600 feet, have been determined to
adversely affect local weather — for as much as 15 miles from the wind project! This
study concluded that Wind Turbines can influence the weather enough to have a
significant impact on local ecosystems. This study came to the same conclusion:
Simulating impacts of wind farms on local hydro-meteorology. This study used
satellite data to verify that wind projects were adversely influencing the weather.
6 – Ecosystem degradation due to habitat disturbance and fragmentation.
With the intrusion of some 150 sites in the 15,000 acre forest, along with access
roads, transmission lines, etc. there will be substantial habitat disturbance and
fragmentation. This conclusion applies: “Biologically significant cumulative impacts
are possible for some species and may become more pronounced over time.”
It’s likely that most hunters are not familiar with these studies and reports, as they are not only highly technical, but are about a very specialized situation.
The evidence is overwhelming that an industrial energy project in the middle of a
forest preserve or other natural setting, can radically change or destroy that ecosystem.
The comments of this person are on point: Our Wildlife have Disappeared.
If you’d rather hear from a Scientist: Wind Turbines Take Terrible Toll on Wildlife. Read The Impacts of Wind Turbines on Terrestrial Mammals. This scientific study
summarized several hundred studies. The unsurprising conclusion of all of these
sources: wind turbines can be severely harmful to wildlife.
If there was some significant (scientifically proven) benefit for wind energy, then it
might be possible to work out a calculation to see what the net environmental impact is. However, there is zero scientific proof that wind energy makes any consequential contribution to such matters as global warming, reducing the use of coal, providing energy independence, sustainability, improving grid reliability, etc.
Therefore, the question is: WHY would we possibly undermine good hunting and
fishing areas? WHY should we subject nearby citizen to adverse health effects? WHY
should we support an electricity source that has horrific environmental consequences?
WHY should we pay a premium price for this unreliable electricity?
The answer is that we do NOT have to. Just say NO THANK YOU!
See WiseEnergy.org for further elaboration on the technical, economic, environmental and military issues with wind energy.
John Droz, jr. Physicist email: “aaprjohn at northnet dot org” 2/20/18