“Dead lake” at the Refuge, spewing oil in the Gulf

Posted on 07. Jun, 2010 by crowley in Blog, General, Renewable Energy News

The Oregonian ran a front page story on May 31 about the extraordinary drop in migratory birds visiting the famed Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Waterfowl production is down 75 percent at the refuge and visiting bird numbers have fallen by several million a year, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The cause, apparently, is carp. The non-native species has proliferated to the point where they have eaten the plant and invertebrate life migrating birds have historically relied on.

“It’s a giant carp pond,” said Bob Sallinger, spokesman for the Audubon Society of Portland. “That lake is basically a dead lake.”

The article points out that the US Fish & Wildlife agency, which manages the Refuge, has tried poisoning the Refuge, with temporary, partial success. The fish are back in force within four years, the Oregonian reported. The story also notes that fishing is not allowed in the Refuge. The story says it would take two years to enact a simple fishing season through the federal process. Read the full story here.

Columbia Energy Partners has been working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for an easement across less than 10 miles of federal lands to get power from an approved wind farm off the north side of Steens Mountain to the existing grid. One group that’s expressed strong concern about the project is Portland Audubon, citing fears for birds stopping over in the Refuge.

The Oregonian story suggests there are more pressing problems, such as coping with carp, to deal with. And that oil spill in the Gulf. That project was permitted with a “Categorical Exclusion” (basically an administratively approved permit) unlike the 2 year, $2million process CEP is engaged in to build a power line across open desert.With overwhelming local support.

CEP sees our project as part of the answer, not a problem, and we’re eager to work with Audubon on reducing our country’s reliance on fossil fuels. We’d even help with those carp, if invited to try.

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