Press Release
Seeking public comment for Sweet Acres Wind Project Habitat Conservation Plan
Media Contacts

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking public comment on a draft habitat conservation plan and environmental assessment for the Sweet Acres Wind Project in White County, Indiana. The draft plan accompanies an Endangered Species Act permit application by Indiana Crossroads Wind Farm II LLC for limited, unintentional take of two endangered species, the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat, and two species under federal review, the tricolored bat and the little brown bat. Unintentional take includes harming, harassing and killing.

The draft habitat conservation plan outlines measures the company would take for conserving bat species if our agency approves the requested permit. These measures include contributing to efforts to protect bat habitat and changes to wind turbine operation to reduce risk of collisions with bats.

“Habitat conservation plans are a flexibility provided by the Endangered Species Act to allow actions that unintentionally affect endangered and threated species if steps are taken to offset those impacts,” said Lori Nordstrom, assistant regional director for Ecological Services in the Midwest Region. “Habitat conservation plans outline steps that facilities will take to avoid and reduce risks to bats and to lessen the impacts of incidental take of these bat species.”

Habitat conservation plans are agreements between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a landowner, private company or non-federal agency that allows that individual or organization to undertake otherwise lawful activities on their property that may result in the incidental take of a federally endangered or threatened species.

If approved, the Sweet Acres Wind Project Habitat Conservation Plan would address incidental take that results from operating the company’s 42 wind turbines in White County, Indiana for six years. The permit would authorize incidental take of up to 18 Indiana bats, two northern long-eared bats, 18 tricolored bats and 18 little brown bats over the life of the permit.

Review draft documents and submit public comments by searching the Federal Register for Docket Number FWS–R3–ES–2023–0248. Please specify whether your comment addresses the draft habitat conservation plan, draft environmental action statement or any combination of these or other supporting documents. The public comment period will be open for 30 days through Friday, May 31, 2024.

Learn more about habitat conservation plans and endangered species.

Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species
Land development