The Valley Patriot
By Christine Morabito – June 2015
As an environmentalist and bird lover, it gives me no pleasure to criticize the largest conservation organization in New England; an organization of which I am a member. Personal conflict aside, it seems apparent that Massachusetts Audubon Society’s support for a massive industrial project threatens thousands of birds a year.
As discussed in Part 1 of this series, wind farms are prolific killers of birds and bats. It is estimated that by 2050, with the expected increase in wind development, the industry will be responsible for killing at least 5 million birds a year and untold millions of bats.
The decade-long relationship between Massachusetts Audubon Society (MAS) and the Cape Wind Project is laden with inconsistencies. In February of 2005, MAS had serious concerns about the proposed 130-turbine offshore wind project’s environmental impact on Nantucket Sound, and responded in a lengthy testimony to federal regulators. Most significant was their estimation that the turbines, in the path of a major migration route, would kill between 2,300 and 6,600 birds a year.
Curiously, the above estimate was later denied by Audubon’s Taber Allison, former Vice President of Conservation Science and Ecological Management, in a letter to the editor of South Coast Today, (“Letter writer gets bird facts wrong,” August 3, 2006). Allison has since left MAS, to become Director of Research and Evaluation for American Wind Wildlife Institute, working in partnership with the wind industry..."
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