U.S. Fish and Wildlife to Hold Public Meetings Regarding Eagle Take Permitting on the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project
For Immediate Release
December 3, 2013
Rawlins, WY. – On December 16th and 17th, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), will hold public meetings focused on the proposed Chokecherry-Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in Carbon County, Wyoming. The Service anticipates receiving an application for an eagle take permit for Phase I of the project, and invites public input in advance of review of the potential environmental impacts associated with issuing such a permit.
The Chokecherry-Sierra Madre project, when fully built, may consist of up to 1,000 wind turbines, although the proposed Phase I of this project would consist of up to 500 turbines in the western portion of the project area. Construction and operation of Phase I could result in the death of golden eagles. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Service are currently working with the project proponent, the Power Company of Wyoming, to develop strategies to minimize the impacts of these turbines on eagles and other wildlife.
Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the federal government is obligated to review the impacts of its actions on the natural and human environment. While the BLM conducted an initial NEPA review of the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre project which culminated in their 2012 final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), the Service has an independent statutory responsibility to analyze the impacts of issuing a permit for take of eagles which are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
We will hold public scoping meetings in Rawlins and Saratoga, WY. During public scoping, we request input as to which issues we should consider as we review the 2012 BLM FEIS and develop an EIS for the potential eagle take permit. The meetings are considered informal. We encourage the public to arrive between 4:00 and 6:30 pm for an open house where you can meet with personnel, learn about the NEPA and permitting process, and provide input. We will solicit public comments following the presentation. Public scoping meetings will be held at the following locations:
Monday, December 16, 2013
315 W. Pine St.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Platte Valley Community Center
210 W. Elm Ave.