Back in mid-2009 Discovery Coast Audubon Society's board of directors, the chapter in Pacific County undertook our own investigation regarding the wind power project that will supply electricity to Pacific County.
We are genuinely elated that the final result of the Independent Scientific Review has produced a favorable result. The review by Dr. Raoul LePage, a noted professor of statistics at Michigan State University, confirms that the Pacific County Wind Project at Radar Ridge is safe for marbled murrelets. The model he reviewed utilized data from three years of an onsite breeding season (winter peaking) study that was conducted by Hamer Environmental. Hamer is a firm nationally-recognized for its marbled murrelet expertise, and their findings indicate the proposed project site has very low passage rates over the ridge top for all bird and bat species, including birds of prey, migratory birds and the marbled murrelet. These wildlife studies were conducted in consultation with state and federal wildlife agencies, and meet or exceed published agency guidelines.
Radar Ridge lies 1,200 feet above both the Ellsworth and Nemah remnant old growth forest stands where the murrelets nest. It is logical that the marbled murrelets will take the line of least resistance from the ocean and cross just east of Highway 101, across the Naselle River and into the Ellsworth Creek old growth stand, therefore avoiding going anywhere near Radar Ridge's much higher elevation.
Discovery Coast Audubon Society still supports the responsible development of the wind energy project at Radar Ridge. We commend the utilities for their thorough evaluation of the proposed project, and their proposal for adaptive management in the face of this new information.
The public utilities state they continue to work in cooperation with the landowner (Department of Natural Resources), and state and federal wildlife agencies, and remain committed to ensuring the project is developed in a manner that is protective of the environment.
Discovery Coast Audubon Society