Date: 5/6/18 1:19 pm
From: Nancy Hilding <nhilshat...> [sd-birds] <sd-birds-noreply...>
Subject: [sd-birds] Tuesday, May 8th,..comment deadline for proposed Wind Farm near Waubey NWR
Nancy Hilding
Prairie Hills Audubon Society

to SD-BIrds list serve,

Notice about comment deadline for a windfarm EA that would impact USFWS grassland easements near Waubay NWR

May 8th, 2018 Comment Deadline
Crocker Wind Farm Environmental Assessment (EA)

The Crocker Wind Farm project (Project) proposal would place 14 turbines, associated infrastructure, and 14 transmission poles on Fish and Wildlife Service grassland easements in South Dakota. This area is southwest of Waubay NWR, southeast of Aberdeen and northwest of Watertown in Clark County. It occurs with that area of NW SD that has lots of lakes, ponds and wetlands.

Grassland easements are voluntary agreements made with landowners that protect grassland habitats for waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wildlife. South Dakota is home to some of the last native grassland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region. This area also provides potential for expansion of energy, including wind energy.

The proposed Project includes up to 120 wind turbines, up to 4 permanent meteorological towers, associated access roads and temporary crane paths, temporary laydown/staging area, an operations and maintenance (“O&M”) facility, collector and communication systems, and a new Project substation (“Wind Farm Facility”). Crocker is proposing to place 14 turbines and associated facilities on land protected with United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) grassland easement . The Crocker EA says the Project will not permanently impact any USFWS-protected wetland basins. Crocker is also proposing to place up to 14 transmission poles on USFWS grassland easement land.

The USFWS explains: "To balance the needs of wildlife and people, the Service first works with wind energy companies to avoid impacts to Service easement interests. Where that is not practicable, the Service coordinates with wind energy companies to minimize impacts to protected resources and trust species and may consider a land exchange."

The Service opened a 30 day comment period when the draft Environmental Assessment was originally announced. To provide the public with additional time to review and comment the Service is extending the comment period by two weeks. The Service will accept comments until May 8, 2018. Interested parties can submit comments electronically at <crocker_comments...> or by mail to:

Crocker Wind EA comments
Waubay NWR Complex
44401 134 A Street
Waubay, SD 57273

For more information and a copy of the draft EA please visit
Draft EA: Final Draft EA(2).pdf
maps of area:
file:///Users/mac/Downloads/Crocker EA Maps 01242018.pdf

Or Roya Mogadam, <Roya_Mogadam...>, (303) 236-4572

This EA is tiered to - Final Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Nancy Hilding
6300 West Elm, Black Hawk, SD 57718
Prairie Hills Audubon Society
P.O. Box 788, Black Hawk, SD 57718
605-787-6779, does not have voice mail
605-787-6466, has voice mail
Skype phone -605-787-1248, nancy.hilding

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