Correction: Wyoming Wind Farm story

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 18, 2013 at 11:39 am •  Published: December 18, 2013
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SARATOGA, Wyo. (AP) — In a story Dec. 18 about a public hearing on ways to minimize the number of eagles killed by a major wind farm project, The Associated Press reported erroneously the location of the hearing. It was held in Saratoga, not Sarasota.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Feds discuss eagle kill by massive Wyo. wind farm

Public hears from feds about potential for eagle kill at massive, 1,000-turbine Wyo. wind farm

By MEAD GRUVER

Associated Press

SARATOGA, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun seeking ideas from the public as it considers ways to minimize and offset the number of eagles killed by what could become the largest wind farm in the country.

The federal agency has been working with the developer of the 1,000-turbine Chokecherry/Sierra Madre wind project for three years to make sure the turbines are placed away from areas frequented by eagles. They've been mapping nesting areas and flight corridors on the vast project area south of Rawlins in south-central Wyoming.

About 50 people gathered at a public scoping hearing on the project Tuesday held by the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service in Saratoga.

The Power Company of Wyoming LLC, a wholly owned affiliate of Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz's The Anschutz Corp., plans to build the wind farm in two phases over four to five years. It would generate enough electricity to power up to 1 million homes.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has opened a 60-day period for public comment while the agency considers issuing an eagle take permit for the wind farm's 500-turbine first phase. The permit could be valid for between five and 30 years.

Fish and Wildlife has yet to issue an eagle take permit for a wind farm. Agency officials expect to begin doing so as a way to help monitor, minimize and offset eagles.

Dave Carlson, project lead for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said the agency expects the Power Company of Wyoming to submit a permit application in January. Fish and Wildlife would decide whether to issue a permit in early 2015.

A BLM environmental impact statement released last year estimates the Chokecherry/Sierra Madre wind farm could kill between 46 and 64 eagles each year. Fish and Wildlife will develop its own estimate of eagle mortality while it considers the eagle take permit, Carlson said.

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