Baseline Ecological Studies for the Klondike Wind Project, Sherman County, Oregon


Title: Baseline Ecological Studies for the Klondike Wind Project, Sherman County, Oregon
Publication Date:
May 29, 2002
Pages: 53

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Johnson, G.; Erickson, W.; Bay, K.; Kronner, K. (2002). Baseline Ecological Studies for the Klondike Wind Project, Sherman County, Oregon. Report by Western Ecosystems Technology Inc (WEST). pp 53.

Northwestern Wind Power ("Northwestern") is presently developing wind power in Sherman County, Oregon. Northwestern completed construction and testing of a 24 Megawatt (MW) windplant in Sherman County, Oregon near Klondike in late January 2002 (Figure 1). The wind plant consists of sixteen 1.5 MW wind turbines manufactured by Enron Wind. Northwestern is currently proposing development of another 25.5 MW windplant in early 2003, and a 50 MW development in 2003 or 2004. Northwestern contracted with Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc. (WEST) to develop a survey protocol for a one-year baseline study of avian use of the project area where all three phases have been or will be built, as well as a protocol to monitor avian and bat mortality for one year once the turbines within each phase become operational. The protocol for the avian baseline study and proposed post-construction monitoring study was similar to protocols used at the Vansycle Windplant in Oregon (Erickson et al. 2000), the Buffalo Ridge Windplant in southwest Minnesota (Johnson et al. 2000a), the SeaWest Windplant in Wyoming (Johnson et al. 2000b) and other proposed wind plants in Oregon and Washington. WEST, Inc. and Northwest Wildlife Consultants, Inc. were contracted to conduct the baseline study. Northwestern is committed to monitoring avian and bat resources at the project sites to determine if the projects impact these resources. The post-construction monitoring effort began on the existing Phase I wind plant in early February 2002. This report presents results of the 1-year baseline monitoring study conducted for the project area. The avian baseline study consisted of 1) point count and in-transit surveys for wildlife species, 2) two aerial surveys within 5 miles of the project boundary for visible raptor nests, 3) surveys for sensitive grassland species (e.g., burrowing owl, white-tailed jackrabbit) within suitable habitat near proposed turbine strings, and 4) vegetation mapping. Furthermore, information on sensitive plant and wildlife species within the vicinity of the project area was requested from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and the Oregon Natural Heritage Program (ONHP) and is reported in this document.

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