Press Release
Seeking public comment for Cardinal Point Wind Project Habitat Conservation Plan amendment
Media Contacts

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking public comment on a proposed habitat conservation plan amendment and supplemental environmental assessment for the Cardinal Point Wind Project, a 60-turbine wind project in McDonough and Warren Counties, Illinois. The plan and assessment accompany an application to amend an existing Endangered Species Act permit for Cardinal Point Wind Farm, LCC to authorize additional incidental take of the proposed endangered species, the tricolored bat. The existing incidental take permit covers the endangered Indiana bat, endangered northern long-eared bat and unlisted little brown bat. 

The amended habitat conservation plan outlines conservation and mitigation measures the company would take for conserving these species. This plan would go into effect if our agency approves the requested permit amendment. Measures in the plan include changes to wind turbine operation to reduce risk of collisions with bats and contributing to efforts to protect bats and their habitat.

The plan proposes on-site avoidance and minimization measures, including modifying operation of the wind turbines to reduce the likelihood of bats colliding with the blades. To offset the impacts of taking little brown bats, Indiana bats, northern long-eared bats and tricolored bats, Cardinal Point Wind proposes to further support bat conservation through actions that may include participating in an approved conservation bank or mitigation fund, implementing mitigation projects or contributing to a fund devoted to treating white-nose syndrome, a primary threat to these species.  

If approved, the amended permit would increase the authorized level of take from the project to 150 tricolored bats total for the term of the incidental take permit. This increase has been informed by bat data collected at the site during the first year of the permit. Cardinal Point Wind would continue to conduct intensive monitoring of bat mortality, using the data to guide future conservation actions at the facility.

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. Our agency considers whether proposed habitat conservation plans would ensure the effects of authorized incidental take are adequately minimized and mitigated.  

A 30-day public comment period is open on the plan and supporting documents. Review documents and submit public comments by searching for Docket Number FWS–R3–ES–2024–0088. Please specify whether your comments address the amended habitat conservation plan, supplemental environmental assessment or any combination of these or other supporting documents. The public comment period will be open through August 5, 2024.

Learn more about habitat conservation plans and endangered species.

Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species
Land development