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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

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

Wind turbine. Credit: Scott Covington / USFWS

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
Jeffrey Center
315 W. Pine St.
Rawlins, WY

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Platte Valley Community Center
Great Hall
210 W. Elm Ave.
Saratoga, WY

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If you are unable to attend these meetings, we still want to hear from you! Scoping comments will be accepted from December 4, 2013, to February 3, 2014. Information about the project, requests to be added to the project mailing list, and physical and email addresses to which comments can be submitted are found on the project website http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/wind/ChokecherrySierraMadre/index.html

Federal Register: NOI: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/12/04/2013-29005/phase-i-development-of-the-chokecherry-sierra-madre-wind-energy-project-bald-and-golden-eagles

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228


303-236-3815 FAX



Dave Carlson
(303) 236-4254

Dr. Mike Dixon
(303) 236-8132

Steve Segin
(303) 236-4578

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: February 19, 2014
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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