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BALANCING WIND POWER & WILDLIFE ON THE TEXAS COAST
Southwest Region, January 7, 2005
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Pat Clements, Allan Strand and Robyn Cobb from the Corpus Christi Ecological Services Field Office, along with Nancy Gloman and Dave Krueper from the Albuquerque Regional Office, Fred Werner from the Houston ESFO, and Jim Neal, Division of Realty, Nacodogdoches, Texas participated in a one-day conference/forum on wind power held at the campus of Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas. Other attendees included Texas State Representative, Mr. Juan Escobar, and 40 other stakeholders representing a variety of interests, including Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas Railroad Commission, the Texas General Land Office, wind power companies, consultants, environmental agencies, private landowners, university researchers, and others. The event was sponsored by Texas A&M Kingsville, The Wind Coalition, Houston Advanced Research Center, the Public Citizen Texas Office, Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, and Rural Alliance for Renewable Energy, and funded by a grant from The Trull Foundation with the help of Texas A&M Kingsville. Presentations included current research efforts for a proposed wind farm in Kenedy County, the Penascal Wind Project, summaries of wind farm development elsewhere in the United States, and group discussions of wind farm issues on such as problems tying into existing electrical grids and limits on the tax credit. Dave Krueper presented a summary of the Service Interim Guidance on Avoiding and Minimizing Wildlife Impacts from Wind Turbines and, along with others, discussed issues related to the movement of migratory birds and bats relative to proposed wind farm sites. Wind project developers and others expressed concern about the short time frame available under the current energy tax credit, and the uncertainties of their responsibilities under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The group closed the day by compiling a list of potential options and ideas for assessing information needs with regards to wind farms and wildlife, and potential avenues for developing and sharing this information.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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