Interviews with experts and thorough literature searches of peer-reviewed papers and government EIS reports were conducted in an effort to assess the potential for direct and indirect impacts of the proposed Deerfield Wind Farm on native black bear populations.
Research indicates that when human development is undertaken, the most significant potential problem for black bears is the creation and use of roads. Disturbance to bears resulting from roads is likely proportional to the size and density of roads, the volume of traffic, and the nature of use (e.g., by hunters). The information found through this review of pertinent literature and expert opinions suggests that the Deerfield Wind Farm - given the proposed use of unpaved roads which will be reduced in width after construction and gated to prevent public access - would not pose an undue adverse impact to native black bear populations. Any disturbance or displacement that may occur is likely to be associated with activity on the access roads during construction and within a narrow band along the access road during access to the site for maintenance activities. The more significant potential disturbance, that from construction, should be limited in scope and duration.