Two actions can help influence the Chaplin Lake wind turbine project decision and future wind turbine projects.
1. Contact the Saskatchewan Environment Minister.
Saskatchewan’s Minister of the Environment, Herb Cox, is currently considering options for approving the controversial wind energy project by Chaplin Lake Chaplin Lake is an internationally important shorebird staging wetland, used by thousands of birds as they migrate seasonally, including many endangered species. The proposed project of 79 turbines would include 25 to 34 turbines on native grasslands, affecting 62 hectares (153 acres) that support several species at risk in breeding season. The project area would also be cut by roads, transmissions lines and other vertical structures such as buildings.
PPPI and many other groups interested in grassland conservation, including Nature Saskatchewan and Nature Canada, believe that the project should be moved off the native grassland and onto alternative/cultivated land.
Last November people wrote in their concerns and analysis to the environmental assessment process and this caused additional consultation and reflection on the project. We are encouraging people to review the material in the NEWS items
below, and send letters or emails to Minister Cox strongly urging him to insist that the wind project be moved off native grassland.
Hon. Herb Cox, Minister of Environment
Mailing Address Room 38, Legislative Building, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0B3
Phone (306) 787-0393
Fax (306) 787-1669
2. Provide input concerning draft guidelines being developed for wind energy projects in Saskatchewan,
A meeting was held May 31 with Saskatchewan Environment officials and representatives of conservation groups and comments on the draft guidelines were invited. The turn around is tight – the deadline for comments is June 15
, but the document is not too long. Contact PPPI
if you are interested in contributing to this effort.
A couple of recent Leader-Post articles by Ashley Robinson and Natascia Lypny are good reminders of the decline of migratory grassland bird populations and a conservation issue that will further endanger these birds. The Wind Energy Project at Chaplin Lake calls for the installation of wind turbines on native prairie in an extremely critical area for migratory birds such as Sprague’s pipit and piping plover.
PPPI supports alternate energy sources, but this location is very concerning. Along with conservationists from groups like Nature Conservancy of Canada, Nature Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, we want to ensure that the turbines are not located in the sensitive globally significant habitat around Chaplin Lake.
http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/grassland-birds-in-saskatchewan-under-threat-report by Ashley Robinson
http://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/saskatchewan-government-developing-wind-energy-siting-guidelines by Natascia Lypny
And there are also articles from last year:
http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/university-of-regina-researcher-concerned-about-songbird-population by Kerry Benjoe
http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/wind-turbine-project-raises-concerns-over-bird-safety by Natascia Lypny
As well as Trevor Herriot’s “Grass Notes” blog: