Prevailing Winds, LLC. (Prevailing Winds), has proposed a wind energy facility in Bon Homme and Charles Mix counties, South Dakota, referred to as the Prevailing Winds Wind Project (Project). Prevailing Winds contracted Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST) to conduct field surveys developed in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and South Dakota Game Fish and Parks (SDGFP). Surveys were designed to assess wildlife resources in the Project area and assess risk to sensitive species by addressing the issues posed under Tier 3 of the USFWS Final Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines. The following document contains results for the general fixed-point bird use surveys and incidental wildlife observations. A summary of all data collected is contained in the document, but the overall body of the report focuses on a smaller group of species – diurnal raptors, eagles, state/federally listed species, and South Dakota Sensitive Species (State Species of Concern [SSC] and State Species of Greatest Conservation Need [SGCN]).
The principal objectives of the fixed-point bird use surveys were to: 1) assess the relative abundance and spatial distribution of species in the Project area during all seasons, and 2) identify and assess the potential risk of adverse impacts to species or groups.