Letter to the Editor
Dear Director Pauley,
Your migratory bird hunting survey does not apply to my area in DeKalb County. The answer to each question suggests there is uniform opportunity to hunt across this state. That is not the case when one’s farm is partially surrounded by Osborn Wind Energy LLC wind turbines. We have two ponds that used to attract geese and ducks, and I prefer to hunt on our farm. We are the fourth generation family to actively farm this ground since 1868.
The migratory birds have changed their flight path over this area. They avoid it. We used to have hundreds of geese and ducks feed and rest overnight here. There was a local flock of geese that fed in our ponds and pastures as well. Those migratory flocks now fly outside the wind towers’ footprint to find safe harbor elsewhere. The local numbers are greatly diminished.
Farmers depend on bats to help manage the insect population in their fields. The tree lines where they roost have been bulldozed out. The affect of the wind turbine blades on bats is fatal without striking them. The pressure differential of passing turbine blades experienced by a bat ruptures their thin membranes. I used to watch bats at night catch insects attracted to the pole light. I have not seen bats since shortly after these wind turbines were erected.
The deer, turkey and upland game are gone or greatly reduced in this area. They do not tolerate the shadow flicker and noises made by turbines and their blades very well. There are fewer woodlots and parcels set aside to support game. The number of eagles I have seen from our fields has decreased because their preferred diet is rarely available.
I understand you have heard these thoughts before when visiting Pony Express Lake Conservation Area. I want to confirm the impact of wind turbines was not exaggerated then or now.
Glenn Dyer, Stewartsville
(Sara Parker Pauley is the Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation)