Your Nov. 26 editorial “Use the talons,” about the prosecution of an energy company for installing wind turbines that killed numerous eagles, is timely. Aa similar tragedy may be about to unfold in northwest Ohio.
Your editorial lauded the federal government for its first criminal case against a power company for the deaths of protected birds. The company, charged with killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds in Wyoming, agreed to pay a $1 million fine after admitting it constructed wind turbines “in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths,” as your editorial quoted a Justice Department official.
Camp Perry Air National Guard Station in Port Clinton plans to install a 198-foot turbine, despite criticism of the plan by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A nearby industrial park is constructing a turbine at its facility, with plans to build five more.
ODNR states that there are 300 bird species around Camp Perry, and 60 bald eagle nests within 10 miles of the camp. Worse, one of those eagle nests is on the campgrounds and a half-mile from the turbine’s proposed location.
Bald eagles and other birds contribute greatly to the quality of life and the economy of this region. Studies by Bowling Green State University and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory show that bird-watching has an economic impact of $30 million in our area every spring.
There are plenty of appropriate locations for wind turbines. The City of Bowling Green’s wind farm proves that. But the Lake Erie shore in Port Clinton is no place for a turbine.
I hope that reasonable minds prevail and that a potential tragedy can be avoided.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the board of directors of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.