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CMFO Hosts Open House For Proposed High Prairie Wind Farm HCP
Midwest Region, December 7, 2010
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Wind Capital Group Wind Farm in NW Missouri
Wind Capital Group Wind Farm in NW Missouri - Photo Credit: Jane Ledwin, USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted an open house Tuesday, December 7, 2010, to gather comments and answer questions about development of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the proposed High Prairie Wind Energy Facility near the town of Queen City in Schulyer County. The open house was held in Kirksville and approxiamtely a dozen people braved the cold weather to attend, including adjacent landowners and an elected representative. The proposed HCP would be the first in Missouri, and the first wind energy HCP in the Midwest.

 

Representatives from the Service and from High Prairie Wind Energy, a subsidiary of Wind Capital Group, were on hand to answer questions about the planning effort and to hear ideas and opinions about potential impacts of the project on the Indiana bat, the little brown bat and the northern long-eared bat. The Indiana bat is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and all three species occur at the site. While most attendees asked questions about the bats, many were particularly interested in the wind facility itself, and the financial arrangements with the landowners. This area of Missouri has seen substantial interest by the wind industry and a few of the attendees are involved with other proposed wind developments.

High Prairie’s proposed project will consist of wind turbine generators, transformers at the base of each turbine, access roads, a project operations and maintenance building, and other infrastructure. All project facilities and infrastructure will be placed on private land.

The Indiana bat was listed as endangered in 1967, under the precursor to the current Endangered Species Act, because of large population declines believed to be from disturbance of caves where bats hibernate during the winter. The Indiana bat is found across much of the eastern and central United States. From late fall through winter Indiana bats in Missouri hibernate in caves in the Ozarks and Ozark Border Natural Divisions. During the spring and summer, Indiana bats use living, injured (e.g. split trunks and broken limbs from lightning strikes or wind), dead or dying trees for roosting throughout the state. Indiana bats forage for flying insects (particularly moths) in and around floodplain, riparian and upland forests.

The participants left the open house with a much better understanding of the proposed project and HCP, as well as who to contact should they have additional questions.


Contact Info: Jane Ledwin, (573) 234-2132 Ext. 109, jane_ledwin@fws.gov



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