The Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turnin': The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and its Impact on Wind Development

Journal Article

Title: The Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turnin': The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and its Impact on Wind Development
Authors: Ballard, R.
Publication Date:
May 01, 2013
Journal: Student Scholarship (Seton Hall Law eRepository)
Volume: 181
Pages: 1-28

Document Access

Website: External Link


Ballard, R. (2013). The Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turnin': The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and its Impact on Wind Development. Student Scholarship (Seton Hall Law eRepository), 181, 1-28.

It is sometimes very difficult to determine how to uphold the rights of animals, including human beings, while at the same time doing what is best for society as a whole. Encouraging the development of wind power while mitigating its effect on the avian population does a great job of illustrating this point. Some people would argue that it is much more important to better the lives of humans rather than to worry about? the lives of birds, and that controversy may never be settled. However, if we can find a way to further both objectives, this should be the approach to follow, and that approach is the aim of this paper.


I must rewrite this.The chief focus of this paper is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act1 “the “Act”] and its impact on wind development in the United States. As will be discussed, this Act has been the source of intense controversy with it emphasis on protection of avian species and their interaction with wind development. The paper on avian populations as opposed to bats, which are also affected by wind development, because bats are generally not federally protected.2 I also chose this topic because of the rapidly increasing popularity of renewable energy sources3 and their development in the United States in order to combat the inevitable shortage of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. As the demand for sources of renewable energy increases, the debate regarding their impact on the environment and ways to mitigate it will continue to heat up.


This paper will address five main topics: the background of the applicable federal laws, the increasing popularity of wind development in the United States, wind development and its effect on avian species, the interaction between federal laws4 protecting avian species and wind development, and my proposition for policy changes on this issue moving forward. In doing so, this paper will demonstrate that the current regulatory scheme implemented by the United States Federal Wildlife Service is inadequate and ineffective in protecting both migratory birds and wind developers, and must be altered dramatically in order to further those goals.

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