An energy company has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for an incidental take permit for endangered bat losses near the company’s wind energy project in West Virginia.
Beech Ridge Energy, which operates 67 wind turbines in West Virginia’s Greenbrier and Nicholas counties, applied for the permit under the Endangered Species Act, which stipulates that taking–harming or killing, in other words–federally threatened or endangered wildlife is illegal. However, an incidental take permit would allow legal activities, like wind farming, to continue as long as the applicant takes measures to minimize the harm done to endangered species.
To comply, Beech Ridge Energy drafted a habitat conservation plan to cover accidental take of endangered Virginia big-eared and Indiana bats over the next 25 years, during which time the company plans the construction of an additional 33 turbines.
In compliance with the Endangered Species Act, the USFWS is accepting written comments on the draft documents through October 23, 2012.
To read more about the project, and to learn about how to submit comments, click here.