"Federal Officials Investigate Eagle Deaths at DWP Wind Farm"

"Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.

So far, no wind-energy company has been prosecuted by federal wildlife authorities in connection with the death of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. A prosecution in the Pine Tree case could cause some rethinking and redesigning of this booming alternative energy source. Facilities elsewhere also have been under scrutiny, according to a federal official familiar with the investigations.

'Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it, so this investigation is long overdue,' said Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology and wind farms. 'It's going to ruffle wind industry feathers across the country.'"

Louis Sahagun reports for the Los Angeles Times August 3, 2011.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011