Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Black Swamp Bird Observatory Needs Your Help!

CITIZEN CALL TO ACTION: Help BSBO's efforts to stop a wind turbine proposed for a Globally Important Bird Area 

We hope you will email your Name, City, State, Zip, to: to support our efforts on the troubling issue outlined below. Your name will then be included along with an official letter that BSBO, along with many other conservation organizations, will be submitting to local, state, and federal officials. 

Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) has learned of proposal to place a huge wind turbine at the Camp Perry National Guard facility on the Lake Erie shoreline, just a few miles east of the world-famous birding hotspot of Magee Marsh.   The Camp Perry facility itself includes wooded areas near the Lakeshore that provide important stopover habitat for migratory songbirds.  The site also lies directly between the Darby Unit of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and the Navarre Marsh, site of BSBO's primary songbird banding research station, where we have banded more than 500,000 songbirds over the last 20+ years.  In other words, the site lies deep within one of the most sensitive migration stopover habitats in the Midwest.   Many birders are familiar with the Camp Perry site since the public access beach on the facility provides important habitat for migratory shorebirds.  Local bird enthusiasts are also likely to recognize the facility as home to an active Bald Eagle nest visible from State Route 2. 

BSBO filed for all relevant documents from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources under the Sunshine Law. The documents show that both our federal and state wildlife agencies have listed multiple reasons why this site is not suitable for wind turbines.  Reasons cited in these documents include, but are not limited to:
- The site’s proximity to an active Bald Eagle nest
- The high number of Bald Eagles that have been documented using the area
- The site lies deep within a highly sensitive area for migrating passerines, waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors
- The site poses high potential for impact on the Federally Endangered Kirtland's Warbler and Piping Plovers
- The site is part of a National Audubon designated Important Bird Area
- The site is part of a Partners In Flight designated Globally Important Bird Area
- The site is part of a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network designated area of Regional significance for shorebirds

Based on these documents, and on the staggering amount of data that BSBO has gathered to demonstrate the volume of migratory birds that rely on the stopover habitat in this region, BSBO's position is that this site is unsuitable for a wind turbine.  However, BSBO is not simply saying no to wind energy; rather, we have expressed a sincere willingness to work with any and all stakeholder groups to develop alternate sites and alternate technologies that will allow us to support Responsible Wind Energy.  We are asking for your support of our position.

If you are willing to include your name in support of our position, or if you know an organization or agency that would be willing to sign on to the official letter BSBO will be submitting to all parties involved with this project, please email the following information to: 

City, State, Zip

Thank you for helping BSBO protect and conserve migratory bird habitat. 

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