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Biologists, energy interests propose grouse study

| April 13, 2010 9:00 PM

TWIN FALLS (AP) - Biologists and energy interests are proposing long-term studies of the effects of wind farms on sage grouse, a football-sized bird that is a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative is proposing a study of areas where wind projects are planned in the next few years, to gather sage grouse data before and after a wind farm is built.

Backers include Renewable Energy Systems Americas, the developer of a proposed 170-turbine wind farm along China Mountain southwest of Rogerson, The Times-News reported.

University of Nevada wildlife ecology professor Jim Sedinger says the findings of the proposed 10-year studies could be used as other wind projects are developed across the West.

He says finding the estimated $10 million needed for the studies is the next hurdle.

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