Oregon Field Guide — Wind and Bats

17,000 dead bats/year in Oregon before a proposed 15-fold increase in wind energy.

The drumbeat behind the “green energy” movement is beating louder for wind farms across the landscape, especially on public lands. At the rate that things are going there may be huge effects on bats and birds of many types. Oregon Field Guide has done a segment investigating the impacts on bats in particular and they are severe.

I fail to see how something that causes such negative impacts on wildlife could be called “green”.

Oregon Field Guide — Wind and Bats
Oregon Public Broadcasting.



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  1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    When we visited the Columbia Gorge in June we noticed growing opposition (such as rural billboards) decrying industrial wind energy.

    1. Daniel Berg Avatar
      Daniel Berg

      In Kittitas County, which has it’s eastern border along the bank of the Columbia, the number of wind turbines has risen above 200. I’m not sure what the exact count is to this date because there is ongoing construction.

      I went to college in Kittitas County and I have heard a sharp increase in the amount of complaints regarding the turbines over the last year.

      1. WM Avatar

        I think the project to which you refer is called Wild Horse. There is another project NE of Ellensburg called Kittitas Wind Project, which is under construction. Sure screws up the postcard view of the Stuart Range from I-90 heading west. I always love that part of the drive to Seattle.

        The Seattle Times had an article on some of the BPA challenges in managing wind elecricity in concert with hydro. At least half of this power goes to CA, and yet WA gets stuck with the negative environmental impacts. Goes to show that federal AND state incentives for windpower can encourage development the technology and applying it for profit. The locals like the temporary construction jobs. Then you have the visual blight and other environmental impacts of it near forever (in generational human life span sense).


      2. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg

        I’ve driven by the turbines going up for the Kittitas Wind Project all summer. They really do disturb the view. I also love that view of the Stuarts. I had planned on hiking Enchantment Lakes this summer but didn’t make it happen. I wasn’t aware that so much of the power was being sent to California.

  2. David Avatar

    Saw this article recently, regarding the effect of turbine color on bat mortality:


    Especially given the bat population crashes in the East, is it possible that wind companies could be forced to change the turbine color based on failure to do their duty of care or complete EIS with regard to minimizing their impacts?


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole