Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on California Ridge Wind Farm draft environmental assessment and habitat conservation plan

June 2, 2021

Contact(s):

Georgia Parham, Georgia_Parham@fws.gov, (812) 593-8501



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment (EA) and habitat conservation plan (HCP) for the California Ridge Wind Farm in Champaign and Vermilion counties in Illinois. The draft HCP accompanies an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit application by California Ridge Wind Farm, LLC, for limited, unintentional take of Indiana, northern long-eared, little brown and tri-colored bats, as a result of the normal operation of the company’s wind energy facility.

Indiana bats are listed as endangered under the ESA and northern long-eared bats are listed as threatened. The HCP outlines measures the company would take for long-term conservation of the four bat species if the Service approves the permit.

Habitat conservation plans are agreements between the Service and a landowner, private company or non-federal agency allowing them to undertake otherwise lawful activities on their property that may result in the incidental take of a federally endangered or threatened species. Permit applicants must minimize and mitigate the impact of the incidental take caused by their actions. Under the ESA, “take” includes harming, harassing or killing listed species.

If approved, the California Ridge Wind Farm HCP would address incidental take that results from operating the company’s 134 wind turbines in Champaign and Vermilion counties for 20 years. The permit would authorize incidental take of up to 100 Indiana bats, 280 northern long-eared bats, 780 little brown bats and 240 tricolored bats over the 20-year project. To offset the potential impacts of take, the California Ridge Wind Farm proposes to restore and protect up to 563.2 acres of suitable habitat for the four bat species and up to 13 artificial bat roost structures.

The draft documents may be reviewed at http://www.regulations.gov under docket number FWS–R3–ES–2021–0042. The public may submit written comments by one of the following methods:

  • Online: Submit comments at http://www.regulations.gov under docket number FWS–R3–ES–2021–0042.
  • By hard copy: Submit comments by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R3–ES–2021–0042; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: PRB/3W; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

Please specify whether your comment addresses the draft HCP, EA or any combination of these or other supporting documents. The public comment period will be open for 30 days through July 6, 2021.

Learn more about habitat conservation plans.


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. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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