Service Issues Incidental Take Permit for Indiana Bats at Proposed Ohio Wind Farm
By Georgia Parham
The Service has approved the first-ever incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act for Indiana bats at a wind facility. The Service approved an extensive habitat conservation plan and has issued an incidental take permit to Buckeye Wind LLC allowing incidental take of a small number of endangered Indiana bats at its proposed wind power project in Champaign County, Ohio.
The habitat conservation plan includes measures to minimize impacts and ensure the long-term conservation of Indiana bats through offsite mitigation, which will offset the incidental take resulting from construction and operation of the facility.
Buckeye's plan includes measures to reduce the likelihood of taking Indiana bats by modifying their turbine operations during times when Indiana bats are most vulnerable to collision with turbine blades. These include spring and fall migrations as well as the summer maternity period, between sunset and sunrise.
Buckeye Wind's habitat conservation plan also addresses the Indiana bat's conservation needs, including protecting and enhancing existing habitat; monitoring take through post-construction mortality studies; adaptive management; and funding of research to better understand Indiana bat and wind turbine interactions.
Buckeye Wind plans to construct and operate up to 100 wind turbines for 30 years in eastern Champaign County, Ohio. While approximately 80,051 total acres are located within the Buckeye Wind Action Area, a relatively small portion of that land, about 130 acres, will be permanently occupied by project facilities. The project would include wind turbines, access roads, and other facilities.
Visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/permits/hcp/buckeyewind/index.html for more information.