As the number of wind farms and windmills continues to grow in Iowa, there are ongoing discussions on how to make the windfarms co-exist with wildlife. Doug Harr of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says they’re trying to develop a map showing areas of concern relating to wildlife that could be used when siting proposed wind turbines.
He says they’re all behind a green source of energy, but he says they want to be sure “it doesn’t do something deleterious to our wildlife at the same time.” There are some reports of birds having problems from running into the giant turning blades.
Harr says there’s been some instances in the coastal ranges of California, but he says the research in Iowa shows birds aren’t in that much danger. He says bats have been shown to be the bigger problem. Harr says they hope to think ahead and manage the issue before it becomes a problem.
Harr says they’d probably like to work with guidelines and avoid regulations if possible. He says all the groups working together seem to be on the same page. Harr says he thinks handling without having to making regulations appears to be a workable solution.
Harr says they can do that by pinpointing the sites and let everyone put some thought into where they’re building the towers. He says they also will likely set up some “best practices” guidelines for locating towers. Harr says the group will continue to meet through 2006.