A media release issued by Natural Resources Consulting, Inc.:

NRC was awarded a grant to evaluate the potential impacts of wind energy development on migrating birds and bats in the Upper Mississippi River Valley. NRC will lead stakeholders from the wind energy industry, natural resource agencies, conservation groups, and research community in a series of workshops to consider migratory patterns and standardized methods to evaluate the potential impacts of wind energy facilities on migrating birds and bats.

The Upper Mississippi River Valley is recognized as a globally important bird migration corridor. Increasing interest in locating wind energy facilities along the Mississippi River corridor has created a need for objective and cost-effective methods to evaluate and mitigate potential impacts on migrating birds and bats. The workshops will bring together a diverse stakeholder group to identify research needs and objectives, build consensus on appropriate study design and methods, and expedite the process for the mutual benefit of resource agencies and wind developers.

“We are excited about this opportunity to discuss and reach a consensus on how to best evaluate migration behaviors in this part of Wisconsin” said Dave Siebert, Director of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Office of Energy.

Louise Clemency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), added, “The Service commends NRC’s proactive approach in addressing potential impacts to birds and bats from wind energy development within the Upper Mississippi River Valley.”

Funding for this project is made possible by a grant from the Focus on Energy “Environmental and Economic Research Program” (EERP), which supports the understanding of environmental and economic impacts of energy use.

Perhaps the results will be relevant to all wind projects in the Midwest.