June 18.2010

Regulatory Branch

SUBJ ECT: initiation of Forma) Consultauon under Section 7 of the ndangered Species Act, Department of the Army Application No. 2()09·00590

Mr. David 5rih ell

U.S. Fish and Wildlife SCI'\~CC Department of the interior 3817 Luker Road

Cortland, Ne\\ York 13045-9J85

Dear Mr. Stilwell:

I am writing 10 initiate formal consultation under eetion 7 f'the Endangered pceies Act for proposed irnpacts that may result from a Department of the Army (DAJ permit application for the St. Lav renee Wind Farm I the Indiana bat (A(lluti.~ 'oda/is), a Federally li led endangered species. The proposed project i. located outh of the St Lawrence River and north of Chuumont Bay, In the Towns or Cape Vincent and yme, Jefferson ounty, New York. The applicant, St. Lawrence Windpower, LLC, has applied for a DA permit (0 permanently impact 0.3 I acres of waters of the lJS and temporarily impact 1.14 acresof waters of the US for the construction of the proposed S I-turbine wind farm.

n behalf of St, Lawrence Wihtlpt.lwer. Western EcoS} (em Techno I gy (WE T), Inc. subrmued the enclosed 'St. Lawrence Windpower, LLC Biological A ses merit, Indiana bat: dated May 2010. The Biological Asses mt!111 (SA was prepared in ace rdance with previous liscussions with repro cntatives from SL Lawrence Windpower. WE. T, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fU f\; S) and U.S. Arrnj Corp I. f Engineers (USA E).

The enclosed BA includes: (]) a description of the action to be considered; 2) a description of the specific area that may be affected b the action; (3 species account information on the Indiana bat (AJ)'Qti.s sodalls)' (4) a description of the manner in which the action may affect the Indiana bat or critical habitat and an analysis of any cumulative effects; (5) analy is of the potential indirect and direct effects: (6) relevant reports that have been prepared and (7} an other rele ani available in forma li on otthe acuon


Regulatory Branch

SUBJE "'T: Initiation of Formal Consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Sp des Act. Department of'the Army Application Nc .20{)9-00590

The orps ha detennincc that available evidence indicates that the project rna ... aAect and is likely to adversely affe I the lndiana bat: however thr ugh the implementation of proposed

'ons ervation Measur au erse effects are being av ided and minimized t 1 the maximum extent practicable, The statutory timeframe t'( r c( n tulrarion indicates that (he ninety-day consulranon period \ ill end on or about September 16, 20 I O. Th final Biological Opinion (BO) is due on OT about ctober 3 I. 20 I O.

This: constitutes the best scientific and comrnereialdats avarlable, lCyou need additional intormat ion. or determine conditioning the permit or modifying the project would preclude theneed t()r rmal c msultation, please contact us immediately, Y~lU may also contact the applicant or authorized agent to allow them the opportuni _ t provide informati n for consideration us prescribed by SO ern 402.14(d). If you need additional dara beyond thai discu ed abo 1;;. the PI' cedur 'S or 50 C'FR 402.14t t) must be followed.

Note that the enclosed BA also addresses tential impacts I Piping plover Churadrius

mclodlls) and its designated critical habitat, The orps has concluded that the project will result in No Effcet tu this species or designated habitat,

Also note that Appendix E of the attached SA contains a Draft onservation a ernent for the proposed protection f 56-acres of forested habitat. The Corps has relayed concerns with the casement us it is currently iii. riuen in particular with Section ",14 wluch allow the Grantor right Lo c\ nduct some tn ... ee cutting. ac tvities. St, '1\ renee Wind ha acknowledged that this casement i a generic draft and that they will modl fy the easement to restrict tree cutting aCT! nles as a result 0 •

discussions with the ' rps and F\VS.

If new information becomes available indicanng lhal "Other listed species 01' cnlieal habitat may be affected, we will follow the procedures under SO FR 402.16. rei nitiation of consul tation.


Regulatory Branch

SUBJECT: Inirianon of F rmal onsultation under Secuon 7 ofthe Endangered pecies AC1~ Department of'the Army Application No. 2009-1)(J590

Please refer 10 identification number 2009-00590 in any rrespondence concerning lhi project Ouesuons pertaining to this matter should be directed [0 me at (315) 704-0256 by writing (0 the following address: U.S. Arm) Corps of Engineers. 7413 County House Road, Auburn, Nex Y nrk 13021. or bye-mail



opy furnished without enclosure:

Ms. Blayne Gunderman, Aeeiona

.. -


Biological Assessment Indiana Bat (Myotis sotlalis)

St. Lawrence Windpower Project, Jefferson County, New York

P reparedfor:

U'S, Army COlPS of Engineers Auburn Field Office

7413 County House Road Auburn, New York 13021


St. Lawrence Windpower LLC 122 South Point Street

Cape Vincent New York 13618

Prepared b)':

David P. Young, Jr., Wendy Tidhar, Victoria K. Poulton, and Joel Thompson Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc,

2003 Central A venue

Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001


TNTRODUCTI N 1 , , , " ,."', , , 1

Species u t , , 1

METI-IODS , , , 3

Literature and Data Review , .. , " , " , , , " , 3

Field UJvey , , , , __ 4


Construct; on· , " , ,., '. __ , , , , 7

Transp nation ystem , , 9

Turbines , __ , , , 9

Underground Collector ystern .. , , , , , 11

ubstation and Interconnection , , , 11

Overhead Transmission Line , , , .. , , 11

Operations and Maintenance Facility , 12

Operationand Maintenance 12

Decommissioning ' , , , , , , 13

Decommissioning Process 13

Site R st ration Process ,. 15

Wetland Mitigation and Storm Water Manageruent.. 15


Life History and Characteristics 17

Habitat Requirements , , , , , , , , 18

Winter I Iabjtal. , , 18

UJ)1TIler Habitat , , " 19

'Range and DlsbiblltiO,l] , , " , " , 21

Dispersal and Migration , , , - , " 2.3

pecies Status and Occurrence " , , 23

Nationwide " , , , , 23

New York , , , , , , 24


Habitat 'urvey , .. " __ " " ,,, .. , , 26

Action Area., , , , , , 29

Proje t Area , , , , , , 3()

Species Status within the Action Area , " , 31

Jefferson County , , , , , ' r 31

Spring/Summer Action Areal , 32

EFFECT. OF TIlli ACTION , .. , , , , , 36

Direct Effects , , , J8

Potential Mortality " , , , , , , .. , 38

Disturbance and/or Displacement , .- 46

Indirect Effe ts 50

Loss of l-Iabitat , , " , .. 50

Effects on Regional Distribution , ~3

Other Effects , , 55

Cumulati ve Effects "'" , ' , , .. , " 56


Project Planning , 58

Project Design and Facilities Siting 59

Project Construction , , 60

Project Operation. and Maintenance 60

Monitoring , , 63·

Additional Conservation Measures 'f 64


Future Status of pecies 66


Literature ited , 66

Personal Communications 77

Append lx A - Listed Species for Jefferson County ~ New York.

Appendix B - St. Lawrence Windpower Project Wetland Mitigation Plan TI-llS CAN BE FOUND IN APPENDIX C-l.l OF THE FElS

Appendix C - St Lawrence Windpower Project Storm Water Pol 1 uti on Prevention Plan TIDS CAN BE FOUND 1N APPENDIX C-8 OF TIIE FElS

Appendix D - St. Lawrence Windpower Project Post-construction Monitoring Study Plan

Appendix- E - Draft Conservation Agreement


Table 1. Land use I land. cover within the 1. Lawrence Wind Power Spring/Summer Action

Area " " , , _ 29

Table 2. Potential impacts to threatened and endangered species from the project. 37

Table 3. Summary of bat mortality from wind project monitoring studies within the range of

Indiana bat. 39

Table 4. Wind projects in the U.S. with both Analsat sampling data and mortality data for all

batspecies 1 40

Table 5. Bat species found at wind project monitoring studies within range of Indiana bat. 42

Table 6. Housing Characteristics Cape Vincent Town, Jefferson County, New ork 55



Figure 1. St. Lawrence Win d power Project location 2

figure 2. St. Lawrence Wind Project Facilities locations 8

Figure 3. Acciona 15 MW turbine dimensions schematic 10

Figure 4. Approximate range of Indiana bats in the U.S 22

Figure 5. Indiana bat distribution in New York based on county occurrence records 25

Figure 6. Land use/land cover mapping of the 81. Lawrence Windpower Project area 27

Figure 7. Indiana bat habitat mapping for the St. Lawrence wind praject. 28

Figure 8. Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Action Areas fO.T Ilte St. Lawrence Windpower

Project. , 30

Figure 9. Distribution of radio tagged female bats from the Glen Park cave in 200S. 32

Figure) O. Indiana bat mist-netting sur e sites, 2007-2008 33

Figure 11. Indiana bat JOost trees and foraging locations found through radio tracking

surveys, 2007 34

Figure 12. Indiana bat roost trees located during the radio tracking surveys at the SLW

Project' 2007 1 , 49

Figure 13. Conservation easement parcels for the SL W pro] ect, , 59



St. Lawrence Windpower LLC (SL W) is proposing to construct, operate. and maintain a utility scale windpower project, the ':1. Lawrence Windpawer Projecl,in Jefferson County, New York The proposed project is located south of the st. Lawrence River and north of Chaumont Bay, near the town of Cape Vincent, New York (Figure I . The Project would provide til) to 79.5 megawatts (JvfW) of wind-generated electricity to consumers.

The turbines access roads, collector lines, substation and O&M facilities would be constructed on privately teased land; however, portions of the project will impact natural resources under federal jurisdiction and thu require federal approval. Specifically project fa ilities will eros waters of the U.S. and will require a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers (A OE) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Endangered Species Act (E A) requires preparation of a Biological Assessment (BA) for major construction projects proposed under federal authority. A BA is an impa t assessment designed to address impacts to endangered, threatened spe ies proposed for listing. or critical habitat for listed spe ies designated under the E A. The federal action being evaluated under this SA is the pending ACOE Nationwide Permit authorization for facilities oftbe proposed St. Lawrence Windpower Project to cross waters of the U.S.

The overall impacts of granting the permit to authoriz construction of wind project faciliti - in waters of the U.S, and cumulative irnpa, Is as defined under the ESA are addressed in this BA. The SA provides a summary of the available information regarding listed species potentially occurring in the project area and an effe ts analysis of the proposed project 011 the listed species.

Species List

As directed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), a list of federally listed threatened, endangered, and proposed species was generated through on-line resources of the New York U FWS Ecological Services (,,"'V'w,p.\'S.QOv!11ortheastJn) fo; Appendix A). The li t was generated for Jefferson County, ill which the proposed project occurs. According to the USFWS resources, two endangered species Indiana bat (lvtyotis sodalis) and piping plover (Charadtius melodus), and the formerly threatened bald .eagle (Hatiaeetus lellcocephalus) potentially occur in J efferson County, In addition designat-ed critical habitat [or piping plover is located in Jefferson County. No pedes pn posed for li ring or candidate specie were identified as potentially occurring in Jefferson County.


[I~ Sotlll';"- USGS -1bpc 1;'~

P,"' .oJgo .. ", , .... r.Iooc." ..

COJodlil>llt $-/ '" 1Wl21 l"u •• 8

C,,,..Jo><! III J,A_ !!no"'" tbt alIlln_


Transmission line


Figure L. .St, Lawrence Windpower Project location.


The delisted bald eagle is protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) and ill be addressed under guidance from the U FWS for compliance with BGEP A. Bald eagle is 110t addressed further in this BA.

Criticalhabitat forendangered or threatened species is defined by the ESA as the specific area(s) within the geographical range of a species where physical or biological feature are found that are essential to the conservation of the species and hich may require special management consideration OJ protection. Critical habitat is specific geographic areafs) designated b the USFWS for a particular species. Under the ESA. it is unlawful LO adversef modify designated critical habitat without a permit The designated critical habitat for piping plover in Jefferson County. New York is located along th Lake Ontario shoreline in the southern portion of the count, where is borders swego County (U FWS 2001). TIle project occurs in inland areas Oil the Cape Vincent peninsula which are not located within designated critical habitat for piping plover. Due to the distance of the critical habitat from the project area, construction, maintenance: and operation of the proposed wind power project will not affect or ad ersely modify critical habitat for piping plover.

Piping plover is listed as occurring in Jefferson County (Appendix A). Specifically plovers from Great Lakes population of piping plover, Listed as endangered may occur in the county. Resource information indicates that piping plover is flat likely to 00 iur in the projec area and that essential habitat for this species is lacking within the project area. Ba: ed on the re 0 ery plan far the Great Lakes population of piping plover, the current breeding distribution for the species (1986-2002) is ill Michigan and Wisconsin (USFWS 2003a). Only historic breeding records for the Great Lakes population exist in New York (Andrle and Carrol 1988) and no records for the piping plover along the Great l .. ake were recorded during the latest New York Breeding Bird Atlas proje t (NYSBBA 2006). Breeding habitat far the Oreal Lakes population of piping plovers is sparsely vegetated sandy habitat such as sand spits or sand beaches associated with wide un-forested beach and dune s stems (USFWS 2003a). These habitats do not occur in the project area. which is a mosaic of open gras Ihay fields. cultivated agriculture and scattered deciduous tree wood lots. Based on the information. piping plovers are not expected to occur in the project area and are unlikely Lo occur there in the future even .ifthe species recovers and occupies its former range. The project will not affect the Great Lakes population of piping plover. therefore, piping plover is not addressed further ill this Biological Assessment.

Indiana bats are known to occur in Jefferson Count and have been recorded in the project area. The proposed project has the potential to adversel affect indiana bat and this BA addresses potential impacts to the species in further detail below.


Literature and Data Review

A literature review was conducted to summarize the relevant ecology of Indiana bat as wen as compile relevant information about the status and distribution of Indiana bats and the effects of wind power development on bats. Sources of information included published literature, internet resources, "gray" literature and technical reports and communication with agency personnel and


resource experts. The USFWS published the first revision of the Indiana Bat Draft Recovery Plan in April 2007 (USFWS 2007) and Lbis was a valuable source of current information relating [0 the species. Additional information on the ecology of the Indiana bat was obtained by contacting experts on the biology of this species and 10ca1 experts incl u Ii rrg Alan Hicks New York tate Department of En ironrnental Conservation (NYSDEC). As welJ .as general background Information on the species. an en ironmental baseline pertaining to species status. occurrence, and di tribution i n the state county, and proj ect area were summarized.

Field Surveys

xisring Information from the NY DEC suggested Indiana bats may occur in the project area, based on radio tracking individuals [rom the Glen Park hibernacula to areas approximately six miles east of the S W Project, Throughout 2006, Western EcoSystem Technology. Inc. (WEST) carried out acoustic bat surveys at the proposed SLW Project area to pr vide baseline information pertaining to the ill e of the project area by bats ill general, and to investigate the potentialoccurrence of lndiana bat. The following is a summary of the tudy results. The complete description of the methodology and results can be found in Kerns et al, (2007a).

Bat activity within the project area was measured using AnaBat 11 ultrasonic bat-detectors that record echolocation calls of pas ing bats. During the spring of 2006 (April 13 to Ma 29, two AnaBat units were deployed within the project area One was placed in a grassy field at the base of the project meteorological tower, a location where turbine development was likely. The second unit was placed near a small pond and wooded edge a location where bat activity v auld be expected to be high and an area unlikely to be developed. These two locations were surveyed from approximately April 13 through October 9, 2006 although occasional technical difficulties prevented full time sampling. During the summer, a "roaming" handheld AnaBat unit was deployed 10 further assess residern/breeding bat species present within the project area. This mobile unit was utilized for 4-5 hours after sunset for three sampling periods, each of three consecutive nights. in habitats likely 10 have high numbers of resident bats. In addition during the.fall, an AnaBal unlt was placed approximately 10 meters above ground level, suspended from a tree to record bats near canopy level and potentially within the zone of risk posed b a turbine rotor (rotor swept area). The analysis of the bat call were used to determine relative abundance and species, to the extent possible. Recorded bat calls that had sufficient pulses to potentially determine species were submitted to .a NY DEC-recommended biologist for further analysis (Britzke and Murray 2001; Britzke et al, 2002). Results of the AnaBat surveys .. while: inconclusive, provided some e .. idence that Indiana bats occupied the proposed project area (Kerns et al. 2007a). An insufficient number of calls were recorded to statistically support the presence of Indiana bats at any of the sites or nights examined (see Kerns et al, 2007a); however, there Was some evidence based om. the calls that Indiana bat occurred on in low numbers.

Based on the existing information and re tills of the ·jte sut eys additional studie-s were discussed with cNY DEC and USPWS and implemented in 2007 and 2008. The additional studies included habitat mapping to determine suitable habitat for maternal colonies, mist-netting to establish presence/absence of the species within the project area, and radio telemetry to locate materna] colonies in or near the project area if needed, The objecti ve of the habitat mapping was to provide an estimate of the amount of mist-netting required for the presence/absence survey and suggest the best locations fOT these surveys.


TIle USFWS Indiana Bat Mist-Netting Guidelines were followed fbr the mist-netti . ng survey. The guidelines recommend two net sites that include a minimum of four mist-net nights per square km of habitat for non-corridor study areas (USFWS 2007). Based on the habitat mapping, there are approximately l500acres (.-...6 square kilometers) of deciduous forest or forested wetland within the site boundary (see Environmental Baseline below). The minimum level of netting effort under the guidelines for determining presence/absence of Indiana bats for the project area would be the equjvalent of approximately 36 mist-net nights.

InJuly and August. 2Q07 and again in June 2008, Sanders Environmental Inc. (SED carriedout field surveys for lndiana bats within, the proposed SL W Project area. These surveys included mist-netting day-time radio tracking and roost tree emergence counts,and. night-time radiotracking of i ndi viduals (S '- I 2007a, 2007b, 2007c, 20.08).

The objectives ofthe mist-netting survey were to: (1) assess the presence or absence of Indiana bats in the SL W Project area (SET 2007c, 2008)" and (2) captureindividual Indiana bats for radio tracking surveys if they were present (SET 2007b) 2007a). In 2007, mist nets were set up in a total of 15 locations- over six sites and in 2008 at 23 locations over 11 sites within the proj ect area. Between twoand four net-Locations were used per site. Eachnet set utilized between 2 and 6 nets ranging from 2.6 to 102 m high. Each location was netted for two consecutive nights. A total of95 mist-net nights were conducted from.July 23-31,2007 and 118 mist-nets nights from June 1-15. 2008 within the 3L W Project area. Mist nels were placed either blocking trails, roads, or flyways; over water, or jutting from the edge of a forest block into an open area. In 2007. Indiana bats were captured at three of the six sites netled and consisted of one adultmale two Juvenile males, and one adult female (SEr 2007c; see Environmental Baseline below), In 2008, no Indiana bats were captured (SEl 2'008).

In 2007, each Indiana hat captured during netting was fitted with a radio transmitter .. TIle tagged bats were then subsequently relocated during the daytime to locate roost trees and potential maternal colonies (SEI 2007b). In addition, efforts were made to conduct exitcounts at. all roost trees located, although locations of trees often made this difficult (Slil 2007b). For each roost tree located.ispecies of tree, DBH, height, approximate hours of direct sunlight, and. distance to standing water were recorded. Emergence counts were carried out by a single observer at eightof the r005t trees, with three trees being observed on two separate evenings. Daytime radio tracking led to a location ofa cluster of roost trees which were believed to be a maternal colony. This area was netted on two nights resulting in the capture. of an additiona I 16 indiana hats (SEl 2007b; see Environmental Baseline below).

To Irrvesrigate night-time lise of the Project area, two of the radio tagged bats. one adult female and one juvenile male, were. radlo-tracked for three and five nights. respectively (8£1 20Q7a). Bats were followed by observers in vehicles equippedwith a. 3-element yagi antenna, A VM radio telemetry receiver, 2-way communications radio, GPS receivervand a laptop computer. Anywhere between one and four observers were tasked with tracking each bat at any given time; allowing observer pos itionsand their respective bearings to the strongest transmittersignal to be compared and bat locations determined. Bat locations over time were then mapped and coupled


with approximate behavior based .OD the radio-signal to determine approximate travel 'routes and lise areas by the two bats (SEI 2007a; see Environmental Baseline below).


St. Lawr-ence Windpower, lLC (SLW) is proposing to develop a wind-powered electricalgenerating facility with up to 51 turbines and a. total capacity ofapproximatel 76.5 (tvlW). All 51 turbines, temporary construction laydown areats) access roads, underground interconnect lines,an operations and maintenance building, meteorological towers. an electrical substation and other components would be located in the Town-of ape Vincent; and most of the proposed overhead electrical transmissiou line and the interconnection (Transrnissi n Owner's ubstation) would be located in the Town of Lyme where there is au existing transmission grid substation. Given the extent (If land area required to site a wind generation facility, and the extenL of open land (farmland) in the Project area, SLW has obtained leases and easement for private lands 011 which to site the facil lties, and thereby maintain the current lise of the farmland within the Proj eet Area

The purpose of the proposed Project i to develop av ind powered electrical-generating facility in an area pre-detennined to be one of New York's suitable wind speed areas capable of sustained utility-scale wind power generation. This Project would be a significant source of renewable energj to the New York power grid, The Project would facilitate compliance with New York Slate Public Service Commission (P C) Order 03-E-0188, is ued on September 24. 2004, which created the New York State R tail Renewable Portfolio Standard (RP ). The purpose of the RPS is to increase the P170portiOH of electricity from renewable energy sources in N w York Stale 10 25 percent by the end of 2013. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is responsible for implementing the RPS as an agent for the N IN York State Department f Public Service. The Project also supports several objective identified in the 2002 tate Energy Plan (New York Slate Energy Planning Board 1002). These objectives include stimulating economic growth, increasing energy diversity. and promoting a cleaner and healthier environment. The benefits of tbe proposed Project also include significant positive impacts on ocieeconomios and air quality. By eliminating pollutants and greenhouse gases during the production of electricity, the Project would benefit ecological and water resources as well as human health.

Project developrnertt took into consideration a number of factors in the design of the project in order to reduce potential adverse impacts but maintain an economically viable project and meet staled objecti ves, Project development is an iterative process that initially involved a detailed assessment of the wind resource to determine viabilitj III de eloping a utility scale project in the proposed project area. Appropriate buffers from roads, properly lines, and residences. were accounted tor in developing the first cone prual layout. Additional considerations in the development process incl uded turbine options und associated spacing requirements, land use and land rights restrictions, engineering considerations, and en ironmental issues. Exten ive urveys and .studies were conducted to determine site-specific data useful in designing the project for a number of resources including socioeconomics, isual, noise, wildlife, egetation, water/wetlands and cultural resources. Additional details regarding the project development process can be found in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Tetra Tech EC, Inc. 2007)


and the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Tetra'Iech EC. Inc. 2009). The final project d sign considered in this evaluati n has undergone extensive scrutiny to avoid and minimize potential impacts from the project.


The construction of the SL Lawrence Windpower project would include a maximum of 5] turbine foundations, Acciona 1.5 MW turbines approximately 14.5 miles of gravel access roads, and 36.0 miles of underground collection system of interconn ction cables (Figure 2). The project would also include approximate! l6'.3 miles of temporary access roads. a co-located electrical substation and operations and maintenance building (O&M) and an approximate 9- mile long 115 kV overhead transmission line co-located with an old railroad ballast and an 'existing municipal water line that terminates at theinterconnection with the existing transmission grid (Figure 2).. A new Transmission Owner's Substation Attachment Facility will be constructed at the point of interconnection to connect the Project electricity to the existing grid.

Project construction will occur in se era] stages:

• Clearing arid grading of the temporary field c nstruction office substation, access roads,

crane pad • turnaround areas and turbine locations;

• onstruction of access roads'

• Construction of turbine tower foundations and transformer pads'

• Installation of the underground interconnect line'

• Construction of the approximately'S miles of overhead transmissi online;

• Assembly and erection of the wind turbines;

• onstrucrion and installation of the substation-

• Plant commissioning and energizing; and

• Final grading drainage, and site restoration.

Actual Project con truction would OCCLII '0 er one construction season (approximately 6~9 months typically between mid-April through mid-December for the . ape Vincent region) and would require approximately 100 construction-related personnel depending 'on Lbe stage of construction. Some additional construction activities such as site preparation, road clearing and grading and vegetation clearing along the overhead transmission line route would occur between early October and late March, prior to the primar construction season.



Transportation System

Most of the transportation infrastructure needed for the Project is already in place. The general Project area is served by a network of stale, county and local highways and roads that vary from two-lane highways to gravel roads. The New York tate (NYS) Highway system in and adjacent 10 th Project area includes Interstate Route 8]' NYS Routes 12E l 2, and 180· and several Jefferson .ounty roads. Existing farm road throughout the project area also facilitated the siting of turbines and theproposed infrastructure corridors; however, since turbine sites must be located a distance from existing roads, a total of 14.5 miles of new access roads wi U be constructed to reach project facilities. These roads will have a permanent foot print appr ximately 17 feet wide and generally will parallel strings of turbines to minimize the Impacts to agricultural land uses and environmental re ources as well as the amount of new road required. In addition it is likely that some existing county and private roads will need to' be improved ill order to accommodate construction trafficand heavy equipment.

Road constru tion typically in elves at 0 stage proces of clearing and grubbing f the right-ofway and topsoil stripping in active agricultural areas a' necessary, followed by the road grading and construction. Site clearing would be the initial phase of construction and would ideally occur immediately prior 10 road and turbine construction. Given file relatively short construction season for the project area, site clearing and any tree utting required would occur from October to March, T psoil would. be stripped, segregated and rockpiled along the road. corridor for u in site reclamation. Agricultural protection measures recommended by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets would be observed so that topsoil is not mixed with subsoils. or gravel. Access road construction would be limited to a 39-foot wide temporary right-of-way. Cleared vegetation w uld be chipped and properly spread on-site or hauled to an off- ite location for disposal or reuse. Subsoil will be graded, compacted, and surfaced v ithgravel or crushed stone ioaccordance with the requirements of the wind turbine manufacturer and geotechnical engineering considerations, The finished width of permanent access toads 'WiJ1 be 17 feet including side 1 pes. Cross-sections at turning radii and pull-offs to accommodate passing vehicles would be slightly wider as necessary for safety. Culverts needed for wetland/ tream crossings will be constructed in accordance with state and federal permit requirements. Appropriate sediment and erosion control measures will be implemented in accordance with state and federal permit requirements.


The wind turbines proposed for the project are Acciona 1.S MW turbines. Each turbine wiJI ultimately consist of a tall steel tower.a rotor consisting of three composite blades: and a nacelle, which houses the generator. gearbox, and power train. A transformer will be located near the base of the lov er to raise the voltage of the electricity produced b the turbine generator to the voltage .level of the underground collection system. The towers will have a base diameter of approximately 4.25 ill (~14 feet) and be 76.9m (-252 led) tall to the nacelle resulting 111 a hub height of 80 m ( ..... 262 feet) (Figure 3'). Each tower will ha e a locked access door and an internal safety ladder to access the nacelle, and will be painted off-white to make the structure less vi ually obtrusive, The rotor diameter will be 82m (-269 feet) with blades approximately 41 rn (-135 feet) long (Figure 3). The total rotor swept area will extend from appro imately 39 m (,.....128 feet) to 121 m (-397 feet) above ground level (Figure 3).


Turbine components would be delivered to tile Project site on uncovered transport trucks. Turbine er ction is typically p-erformed in stages: (l) foundation construction, (2) setting of the electrical components in the foundation (3) erection of the lower, (4) erection ofthe nacelle, (5) assembly and erection of the rotor, (6) connection and termination of the internal cables, and (7} inspection and testing of the electrical ystern, Turbineassembly and erecti 0 is performed with large track mounted cranes smaller rough terrain cranes. boom trucks and rough terrain fork-lifts for loading and off-loading materials. The erection crane/a) would move from one 10 er to another along a designated crane path. This path would generally follow existing public roads and Project access roads, but in a few places may traverse open Iarm fields. In general, it wiIJ take approximately two weeks to erect a turbine once the foundation and roads are in place.

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HH Hub Height 80 mJ262 ft.
RD Rotor Diameter 62. ml\28 El it,
TC Tip Clearance 35m/115ft.
TH Tip Height 121 rnf397 fl. 3. Acciona 1.S MW turbine dimensions schematic,


A temp rary construction work area consisting of a l50-fool radius around each turbine foundation is necessary for wind turbine assembly and erection. A 100. 50 foot driveway/crane pad adjacent to tbe access roads and will be maintained for the life of the proj ct. Following completion of project construction, the temporary work areas will be reclaimed to the existing land use. Farmland and crop fields will be restoredup to the edge of the gravel pad.

Turbine foundation construction would begin following completion of the' access roads to turbine locations. A spread-foot foundation will be used which includes drilling hole excavation. outer form setting, rebar and bolt cage assembly, casting and finishing of the concrete, removal of the forms, backfilling and compacting, if required and foundation site area restoration, Typical wind turbine foundations are appro imately 7 to lO feet deep and approximately 50 to 60. feet across. Foundations typically require approximately 320 cubic yards (cy) of concret . After the concrete is cured, the surface is backfilled with the excavated material. Permanent loss of usable land would he minimized to the tower diameter and gravel driveway/crane pad to '(be tower.

Underground Collector System

Electricity from the wind turbines would be generated at a specific voltage and transported through underground cables thar connect groups of turbines together electrically, The collector system lines feed to the Project substation located with ill the Project area (see Figure 2). The collector system will follo project roads as much as possible. In. area where thesystem will deviate from roads, a corridor appro imately 12 feet wide, centered on the interconnection route will be cleared for cable installation machinery. The construction corridor \' ill increase an additional 6 feel in width in areas where multiple circuits run parallel, Direct burial methods, via cable plow, rock saw and/or trencher will be used during the installation of underground collector lines which disturb-an area approximately 12 to 36 inches wide. A bundled cable would be placed at a minimum depth of 48 inches. Restoration of the interconnection line as needed, will follow immediately after installation.

Substation and Interconnection

he ollection Sy rem ubstation would rep up the voltage of the electricity so that it can be reliably interconnected with the 115 kV transmission line of the existing grid. The substation structural elements would be installed on Concrete foundations. in addition, the substation would consist of a graveled footprint area, a chain link perimeter fence, and an outdoor lighting system,

The Transruission Owner's ubstation attachment facility (interconnection) will be located at the existing substation in Lyme, owned by National Grid, At t111s [0 cation , electricity. delivered would be metered and a pro recti on system put into place to ensure reliability and integrity of the infrastructure. Tile design of the attachment facilities t the 115 k V line would be finalized based on a facility study conducted by the transmission line owner and the Ne'V York Independent

ystern Operator (NYl 0) in accordance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Transmission Tariff.

Overhead Transmission Line

A 9-mHe transmission line will connect the project to the existing electrical grid (Figure 2), The transmission line will follow an abandoned railroad right-of-way and be co-located with a municipal waterline. The temporary construction right-of-way for the overhead transmission line


will be up to 100' feet and serve as access for eonstructlen vehicles and equipment. Additional access to the work area would include lise of existing farm roads and pri ate drives; no new acces roads are proposed for the transmission line. The transmission line would be on treated wood utility poles and consist of two conductors. Pole spacing ill be approximately 90 m (300 feet) f T the 9 mile corridor resulting in approximately 160 poles. The transmission line would be designed according to Avian Power Line Interaction Comm ince (APLJC), standards to minimize potential impacts to avian species.

Operations and Maintenance Facility

The primary O&1VI facility would be located on approximately 11.5 acres in the Town of Cape Vincent (Figure 2) and will be co-located with. the Collection System Substati n. The facility construction area would be prepped (cleared") grubbed, and graded) and concrete foundations and gravel surfacing v ould be completed prior to the installation of the infrastructure. The building would include offices kitchen, bathroom, and a workshop and include a gravel parking area.

A temporary work yard would be located on a 12.25 acre parcel across from the co-located Collection System Substation and O&M Building. This work area may be used for parts assernbl , parking. short-term storage of pans and equipment, and other construction-related

activities. -

FoJ.1ov ing turbine construction.vsite restoration activities would begin. TIle 150-1'001 temporary construction area around turbines access road corridors, any temporary cranepaths, and other temporarily disturbed areas wiJ I be restored according to the construction plan and any applicable state or federal permits. In gen ral restoration acti .Uies would include subsoil decompaction (as neces ary), rock/gravel removal, re-establishing pre-construction contours spreading of tockpiled topsoil, and re-vegetation by seeding and/or mulching.

Operation and Maintenance

The Project would be operated and maintained by SLW. nee operational, the Project would be almost completel automated. The project generation would b monitored and controlled from the O&M Iacillty by a permanent staff of appro' imately four to six administrative/operations and maintenance personnel.

Wind turbines receive- scheduled preventative maintenance and inspections. In general, .routine maintenance activity occurs on a few turbines on a daily basis. Under certain circumstances, heavy maintenance equipment such as a lifting creme might be required to effectively repair any exposed (external) turbine. nacelle, or rotor problems. In the event of turbine or plant facilit outages, a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system sends alarm messages to the on-call technician via pager or cell phone, The Project would always have an on-calllocal technician who can respond q uickly in the event of emergency notification Of critical outage.

ill most cases, because turbines .are located in agricultural fields, the current vegetation and land lise will be restored up to the turbine pad to minimize impacts to agriculture. Management f agricultural activities and the land and vegetation around each turbine will remain with the current landowner. Maintenance and management of the actual infrastructure and right-of-way


areas that are not agricultural fields will be the responsibility of S L W. Other site management activities will include vegetation management around infrastructure and facilities suebas periodic mowing as necessary; building inspection and maintenance; periodic maintenance f roads including grading and contouring to restore the road surface; and annual inspection and maintenance of the transmission line route to determine need for mowing, hazard. removal, or side trimming of trees. The turbines and roads will 110t be lit except for required F A.-\ lights on the nacelle of selected turbines. The O&M facility will have outside safety lights which maj be either manually operated r set to operate via motion detect rs. There ~ j1J be no use of herbicides or pesticides for operation and maintenance of tile facility.

Maintenance of the transmission line will include periodic inspections of the route for hazard vegetation that may interfere with the conductors, For ground cover, the need for mov ing will be evaluated periodically during the growing season and will likely occur on an annual basis ata muumum, Side trimming of trees or removal of hazard tress adjacent LO the line will be scheduled to occur after October) and before March 31 each ear, unless an emergency situation (e.g., a tree falls on the tran mission line cutting the power supply) requires tree removal outside of this period.


The projected Life of the pr [ect is 20 years. After 20 years, wind turbines may be replaced or upgraded for continued operation. Except for the underground collection systems which is provided for under a perpetual easerneut, SL W lease agreementswirh the landowners provide that all wind project Iaci lilies would be removed to a depth of four feet below grade following the end of the Project's useful life, The decommissioning process is expected to be similar in scope and duration as the overall construction process. Most components and materials would be recycled and those that could not would be disposed of in an approved landfill or waste management facility.

Decommissioning Process

All decommissioning and restoration activities will adhere to th requirements of appropriate governing authorities and win be in accordance with all applicable federal, stare, and local permits. The- decommissioning and restoration process comprises removal of above-ground structures. below-ground structures to a depth of four feet or greater, removal of acces-s roads if required by the landowner restoration of topsoil re-vegetation and seeding, and a two year monitoring and remediation period.

Abo e-ground structures include the turbines, transformers overhead collection lines wind farm owned portions of the substation maintenance buildings, and access gates. Below-ground structures include turbine foundations, collection system conduits drainage structures and access, road sub-base material. The process of removing structures involves evaluating and c-ategorizing all components and materials lnmoaregories of recondition and reuse, salvage, recycling, and disposal. In the interest of increased efficiency and minimal transportation impacts) components and material may be stored on site in a pre-approved location until the bulk of similar components or materials are ready for transport. TIle components and material will be transported to the appropriate facilities for reconditioning salvage, rec cling, or disposal.


Turbine removal. Access road to turbines will be widened to sufficient width to accommodat€;! movement of appropriate sized cranes or other machinery required for the disassembly and removal of the turbines. Following de-powering, control cabinets, electronic component, and internal cables will be removed. TIle blades, hub and nacelle will be lowered to, grade for disassembly. The tower sections will be lowered to the ground where they will be further disassembled into transportable sections. The blades hub, nacelle. and tower ections will either be transported whole fat reconditioning- and reuse or dis embled into salvageable, recyclable. or disposable components.

Turbine foundation remo al, Topsoil will be remo ed from an area surrounding the foundation and stored for later replacement. Turbine foundations \,\'U be excavated to EJ depth sufficient to remo e all anchor bolts. rebar, conduits cable, and concrete to a depth of four feet below grade. The remaining excavation will be filled with clean sub-grade material of quality comparable to the immediate surrounding area The sub-grade material t, itt be compacted to a density similar 10 surrounding sub-grade material. All unexcavated areas compacted by equipment used in decommissioning shall be de-compacted in a manlier to adequately restore the topsoil, and subgrade material t the proper density (Jon istent and compatible with the surrounding ar a..

Underground eollection cables. The cable and conduits contain no materials known to be harmful to the environment and will be cut back to a depth greater than four feet. AU cable and conduit buried greater than four feel deep wilJ be left in place and abandoned.

Overhead collection lines. The conductors will be removed and stored in a pre-approved location. The supporting poles will be remov d and the holes filled in with compatible sub-grade material. 111 are-as where environmental damage from complete removal may outweigh the benefits the poles will be sawed flu h with the surrounding grade (determined by appropriate governing authority), The poles will be stored in a pre-approved location. Stored conductors and poles will be later remo ed and transported 10 appropriate facilitie for salvage or disposal.

Substation. Disassembly of the substation will include only the areas owned by the Applicant Any System Upgrades made by the Applicant and conveyed to the New York Power Authority or any improvements made to the local National Grid distribution system will remain In place. Steel, conductors switches, transformers, etc. will be reconditioned and reused, old as scrap, recycled, OJ disposed of appropriately depending upon market value. Foundations and underground components will be remo ed t a depth of four feet and the excavation filled. contoured .. and re- egetated.

Acces roads and COD. truction pads. After decommissioning activities of a turbine site are completed, the access road and constructiou pad will be removed. unless the landowner requests to maintain an access road. Gravel \\"11 be removed from access roads and construction pads and transported ta a pre-approved disposal location. Drainage structures integrated with the access road or con truction pad will be removed and backfilled ith sub-grade material, the topsoil replaced. and the surface contoured and re- egetated. Access gates shall remain operational until completion of decommissioning at which time they will be removed unless requested by the landowner that th y remain. Ditch crossings connecting access roads to public roads will be removed unless requested that they remain by the landowner. Improvements to Town and


ounty roads that were not remo ed after construction at the request of the Town or County will likely remain in place.

Site Restoration Process

r opsoil will be removed prior to removal of structures from all work area and stockpiled, clearl designated, and separate from other excavated material. Prior to topsoil replacement all rocks four inches or greater will be removedfrom the surface of the subsoil. The topsoil will be de-compacted to match the density and consistency of the 'imrnedlare surrounding area, The topsoil wHl be replaced to original depth and original surface contours reestablished where possible. All rocks four inche or larger will be remo ed from the surface of the topsoil Any topsoil deficiency and trench settling shall be mitigated with imported topsoil consistent with the qualityof the affected site.

ln accordance 'With guidelines provided by New York tate Department of Agriculture and Marke-ts (NYSDAM) topsoil de-compaction and replacement will be avoided after: October 1 unless approved by the landowner in consultation with NYSDAM since areas restored after October 1 may not obtain sufficient growth to prevent erosion over the winter months. If areas are restored after October J, provision \ ill be made to restore any eroded .areas in the springtime to establish proper growth.

Following decommissioning acuvines, the sub-grade material and topsoil from all affected agricultural areas will be de-compacted and restored to a densityancl depth consistent v villi the surrounding fields or to a depth of 1.8 inches. The affected areas will be inspected thoroughly cle-aned and all debris rem ed,

All disturbed oil surfaces within agricultural fields will be seeded with a seed mix. agreed upon with the landowner ill order to maintain consistenc with the surrounding agricultural uses. AU other disturb d areas will be re tored to a, conditi n and forage density reasonably similar to original cond ition, In all areas restoration shall include, as reasonabl required, Ie eling, terracing. mulching, and other necessary steps to prevent soil erosion. to ensure establishment of suitable vegetation c-over and to control noxious weeds and pests.

In accordan e with the guidelines of fie NYSDAM. a monitoring and remediation period of two years immediatel following the completion of any de ommissioning and restoration acti ities will be provided. The two-year period allows for the effects of climatic cycles such 'as frOST action, precipitation and growing seaSODS to occur from which various monitoring determination can be made. Any remaining agriculture impacts can be identified during this period and follow-up restoration efforts will be implemented.

Wetland Mitigation and Storm Water Management

The Applicant is seeking permit authorization from NYSDEC and the USACE for 0.3] acre of unavoidable permanent impacts to wetlands under their jurisdiction. The Project has been designed to avoid endrnihimize wetland impacts to the greatest extent practicable. Project components were relocated (micro-sited) at several locations to specifically avoid or mmnnfze


.impacts to wetlands and/or water bodies; however, the project will result in approximately 1.14 acres of temporary impacts and approximately 0.31 acre of permanent impacts to wetlands or surface vwater bodies. Wetland areas and open waters temporarily affected during the construction of the Project will be restored to pre-construction contours and re-vegetated with nativ (non-invasive) plant material or seeds immediately following the completion of regulated activities fit each site. For permanent impacts, the Applicant is developing a Wetland Mitigation Plan to compensate for unavoidable impacts as part' of the permitting proce s. in consultauon \ ith NYSDEC and USACE (Appendix B). SL W proposes to compensate for the unavoidable permanent fill of wetlands using a ,,":1 mirigation ratio. Most of the proposed fill 1S located in narrow wetland drainagecorridors consisting of emergent \I efland herbaceous and crub- hrub located contiguous to agricultural fields. The functional alue assessment for these wetlands indicates that they primarily function as runoff con eyances, and provide minor flood water attenuation and potential sediment/to cicant retention. A few etlands in the project corridors have well-developed vegetative structure and diversity, providing wildlife habitat corridors between fields. Due to the small overall area of these wetlands their proximity to active agricultural fields, and their lack of diverse r dense v getation they have limited wildlife habitat vatu .

In consideration of these limited functional values the goal for compensatory mitigation is to replace and enhance the 1051 water quality function and wildlife habitat value provided by the impacted wetlands. SLW proposes to compensate for the loss of the e functions by establishing ne wetlands at a 2: 1 replacement ratio and to consolidate the repla ement in one location contiguous to a more functionally valuable natural wetland, thus increasing the chances of successful re-establi hmeru and addition of wildlife habitat This wetland replacement al 0 affords practical con truction of the replacement and creates a .. uitable opportunity to enhance the wildlife habitat value of the compensatory wetland by planting trees 'and dense emergent and herbaceous shrub co er.

This mitigation site chosen for the project is situated adjacent to. the floodplain of Kent's Creek and would provide an expansion of a wetland associated with the creek (see Appendix B). TIle riparian zone improvement would also improve the wildlife corridor associated with Kent s Creek. The source for the appropriate hydrological conditions \ auld be from the combination of surface ILU10ff and the surrounding landscape. .stormwater runoff/diversions to the mitigation, site, and the high now and overflowing of Kent's Creek. Access and construction of the proposed site would be from a local road and would require no additional road building or wetland irossing . TIle field surrounding the mitigation site consists of various pasture grasses and would not impact the amount of cropland managed by the landowner. During construction there will be temporary loss of the herbaceous and shrub layer vegetation for tile site grading; hov ever, no trees l,.vill need to be cut at the site. Once complete and restored the wetland mitigation site would provide approximately 0.7 acre net increase in wetland foraging habitat for wildlife, including bats in the project area. Additional details of the proposed wetland mitigation activities including the mitigation site location, site map, construction sequence and functional value assessment are provided in the wetland mitigation plan, attached in Appendix B.

Implementation of effecti e Best Management Practices (BMPs) will serve as the primary measure to minimize soil and potential runoff impacts (Appendix C). At a mmirnum, Project


BM? will be developed and implemented for land clearing, site preparation, and. grading; use of ext. ting roads, farm roads. and right-of-ways; dust abatement (dry conditions) and sou rutting control (saturated conditions); erosion control during trench excavations for underground collector sy tern" short- and long-term storage of construction materials; vegetative strips. diversion berms, con- eyance channels channel. check structures, silt Fences, bio-filter bags and straw bales to slow runoff events and erosion' handling and disposal of Project-d rived waste materials: operation of on- ite b rrow areas: and stabilizingand re-v getating disturbed areas. BMPs that will include industry standard acceptable and permitable methods for controlling runoff. dust erosion. waste products, and construction debris in manners consistent with all applicable state and federal laws.


Life History and Characteristics

lndiana bats exhibit life history traits similar to most temperate vespertilionid bats. Despite their small size they live relatively long- lives but produce few young per: year which may be influenced by constraints of the ability for flight {Barclay and Harder 2005). Similar to most temperate M;,Fotis species, f male Indiana bats give birth to one offspring per year (Humphrey et al, 1977: Kurta and Rice 2002)_ Mating occurs in the vicinity of the hibernacula in late summer and early fall and fertilization is delayed until the spring (Guthrie 1933). Timings of parturition and lactation are likely dependent in part on latitude and weather conditions. For example, in I wa, female bats arrive at rna ernity roosts at the nd of April and parturition is completed by mid-July (Clark et al. 1987); in Michigan oung are born in late June or earl July (Kurta an Rice 2002); and in southern. Indiana, pregnant female are known from28 May through 30 June while lactation has been recorded from 10 June to 29 July (Whitaker and Brack 2002). YOlLl1g bat are volant within 3 to 5 weeks of birtb at which time the maternity colony begins todisperse and u e f primal)' maternity roosts dirnini hes. Females and ju eniles may remain .in the colon", area until migration back to the hibernacula; hox ever. at this point the bats become more gregarious, Few studiesha e recorded capture of females carrying pups, It is likely that once young are born, females leave their pups in the diurnal roosts while they forage, returning during the night periodicall 10 feed them (Barclay and Kurta 2007). Females will, h wever switch TO t trees regularly and during these switches they undoubtedly carry flightless oung, indiana bat maternity colonies consist of several roosts; in Missouri each maternal colony used from 10 to 20 separate roost trees (Miller et al, 2(02). Indiana bats do not use the same roost continually but typically switch roosts every 2-3 days (Kurta et -al. 2002). r n Kentucky, Gumbert et al. (2002) recorded 463 roo t switches over 921, radio-tracking days 0 f tagged Indiana bats tor an average of one switch every 2.21 days. onsecutive use of roost trees by indi idual bats ranged from 1 t 12 days. It is believed there are a number of reasons for roost switching including thermoregulation, predator avoidance, and reduced suitability of roost trees which are all ephemeral resourc and can become unusable if 1he_ are toppled by wind, lose large pieces of bark or are otherwise destroyed (Kurta et al. 2002).

Indiana bats return to the vicinity of the hibernaculum in late summer aad early fall where the exhibit a behavior known as 'swarming'. This involves large numbers of bats ('hat fly in and OUl


of the cave entrances from dusk to dawn, though relatively few roo till the caveduring the day (Cope and Humphrey 1977). During th swarming period most Indiana bats roost within approximately 1.5 miles of the cave suggesting that the forests around caves provide important habitat prior to hibernation (U FW 2007). At this time bats gain fat stores vital for winter survival and mating occurs. While females enter the hibernaculurn soon after arriving at thesire, males remain active for a longer period, likely to in" rease mating opportunities. Males may also travel between different hibernacula at this time, most likely to increase mating opportunities (USFWS 2007). imilar to many other species. survival of Indiana bats is lowest during the first year of life. In a study in Indiana, survival rates among male and female bats were approximatel 66% Lo 76% for six and ten years after marking, respectively, with female longevity approximately 12 to 15 ears and males ]4 year (Humphrey and Cope 1977). The olde t known Indiana bat Was captured 20 yearsafter the first capture (La Val and La Val 19'80).

Habitat Requirements

Indiana bats have l\VO distinct habitat requirements, a stable environment such as a cave or abandoned mine to hibernate in during the winter and oodland habitat 10 form maternity roo is 11] [be summer. Males may use hibemacula or tree roosts during the summer. Prior to hibernation both male and female bats use wooded habitat surrounding the hibernacula to roost.

Winter Habitat

Indiana bats typic-ally hibernate between October and April, though this may be extended from September to May in northern portions of the range, The majority of hibernacula are located in karst areas of the east-central U .. ; however, Indiana bats are known LO hibernate in other cavelike locations including abandoned mines, a railroad tunnel in Pennsyl ania and a hydroelectric dam in Michigan Kurta and Teramino 1994), In some areas, such as Nev York, the largest and most rapidly growing populations OCCUl' in abandoned mines (Hicks and Novak 2002; USFWS 2007). Indiana bats typically require Low, stable temperature s (3 to goC) for uccessful hibernation (Brack 2004; Tuttle and Kennedy 2002). Temperature variation between hibernacula may be in part due to behavioral thermoregulation by the bats such that in large hibemacula large groups (If bats allow for a lower ambient temperature where-as in small hibernacula higher ambient temperatures are required since the bats are in smaller clusters (U. FWS 2007). aves with the highest Indiana bat populations are large complex systems that allow air flow, but the volume and complexity often buffer or slov cbanges in temperature (Brack 2004). These cornple res often large rooms or verti al pa-ssage below the lowest enhance that allow entrapment of cold air that is stored throughout the summ r providing arriving bars with relatively low temperatures in early fall (Tuttle and f ennedy 2002). Bats are able Io decrease e. posure to fluctuating air temperatures by increasing surface contact with the cave or with other iudivlduals and Indiana bats tend to hibernate in large dense lusters ranging fl'DD1 300 to 500 bats per square foot (USFWS 2007). TIle timing of spring emergence of Indiana bats generally

CCUfS from mid-April to the end of May and varies aero s the range depending on latitude and weather conditions. Females typically emerge before males, traveling sometimes hundreds of miles to their summer habitat (Winhold and Kurta 2006). In New York, spring emergence typically occurs in mid-April when night-temperatures exceed 50° F (USFWS 2007, A. Hick NYSDEC, pers. comm.).


Summer Habitat Female'

The first maternity colony for lndiana bats was located in L971 (Cope et a1. 1974' Gardner and Cook 2002) and to date much of the work pertaining to summer habitat has concentrated OD females, Following hibernation, female bats disperse up to 350 miles to their summer habitat where they form maternity colonies (Wirihold and Kurta 2006). However Indiana bats tracked in New York have traveled sh rter distance' «4 miles). Members of a maternity colony do not necessarily hibernate in the same hibernaculum and individuals may .hibemate in hibernacula almost 200 miles apart (Kurta and Murray 2002; Winhold and .Kurta 2006). Colonies de, however, appear to be highly philopatric using the same areas and same roosts in successive years (Barclay and Kurta 2007' Callahan et al, 1997; Humphrey et al, 1977). Maternity colonie can vary greatly in size in terms of number of individuals and number of Joost trees used, with members of the same colony utilizing over 20 tree-s during the season (Kurta 20'04). An important characteristic fOT the location of maternity roost sites is a mosaic or \: oodland and open areas, with [be majority of maternity colonies ha ing been found in agricultural areas with fragmented forest (USFWS 1007). Kurta (2004) analyzed data from 39} roost trees in ele en states and found that although at least. 33 tree species were used, a h (Fraxinus sp.) elm (Ulmus sp.), hickory (Carya sp.), maple (AceI' sp.), poplar (Populus sp.), and oak (Quef'lCUS sp.) were the most common types of trees used, accounting for 87% of roost trees documented. Deaver-age, Indiana bats switch roosts every two to three days although this is dependent on reproductive conditions, roost type, and time of year (Knrta et al. 2002; USFW, 2007). Roost trees used-by a maternity colony are classified as either primary or alternate. The classification i based 011 the proportion of bats in a colony consistently occupying the roost site (Callahan et al. 1997; USfWS 2007). Primary roost' were initially defined by Callahan 1993) in terms of number (used by> 30 bats), although a more useful unit for smaller colonies is number of bat-da saver one matecnit season (Kurta et al. 1996 . As well as differences in numbers of bats using particular roost trees, primary roosts are used throughoutthe summer whereas alternate roosts are used more infrequently and may be important in changing weather conditions (temperature and precipitation), or when U1e primary TOO 1 ecomes UIlU able (Callahan et al. 1997). Primar; JOost are often found near clearings or edges of woodland where they reel ve greater solar radiation, a factor that may be important in reducing thermoregulatory costs for reproductive females arid their young (Vonhef and Barclay 1996). Female Indiana bats are able to use torpor toconserve energy during cold temperatures; however, torpor slows gestation (Racey 1973) milk production (Wilde I al. 1999) and ju enile growth, and could be costly when the reproductive sea on is short Barclay and Kurta 2007). Although the primary roost of a colony may move over the years, it cis likely that foraging areas and eomnurting paths are relatively more stable (Barclay and Kurta 2007). For example, at least some members of a colony in Michigan used a wooded fen e-line. as a commuting corridor for a.t least nine year-s (Winhold et al, 2005).

In summer, Indiana bats predominantly roost under slabs of exfoliating bark. They do not commonly use tree cavities such as those created by rot or woodpeckers, but will occasionally use narrow cracks in trees (Kurta 2004). ROOSTS are usually located in dead trees. though partly dead or live trees (if the species has naturally peeling bark) may also be used. (USFWS 2007). Roo t trees· ary in size, the smallest recorded is t 1 em DEH (diameter at breast height) for a female roost (Britze 2003), though most trees favored by a maternity colony are greater than 22 em DBH (Karta 2004),. The mean DBff of 1'0051' trees (n=359}in 12 stales was 4S±2 em (range


37 to 62 em: Kurta 2004). This is similar to the size of roost trees used in a recent study of female Indiana bats in Vermont and New York (46±4 em; Britzke et al. _006). Primary roost trees tend to be larger in diameter than alternate roost trees likely providing thermal ad antages and sites for a greater number of individuals; however much of the differences in dimension between roo t trees are likely due to species differences or may reflect the nature in which a tree died. Absolute height of the roost treeappears to be less important than the height of the tree relative to surr unding tree (Kurta 2004). Indiana bat maternal coloni s appear to be loyal to a general foraging area within and between years (Sparks et al, 2004). The distanc from the roost to a foraging area may be constrained by the need to return to the roost periodically once the young are born (Henry et ill. 2002), since lactating females. but nat pregnant females, return to the roost 2 to 4 times during the night (Butchkoski and Hassinger 2002~ Murray and Kurta 2004). t11, general, the distance from the roost to foraging areas vades froID 0.5 to 804 tun (U FWS 2007). In Michigan the mean distance from the too. t and foraging area was 2.4 kill (0.5 to 4.2 kID' Murray and Kurta 2004), Eleven females in Indiana used foraging areas on average 3.0 k111 (0.8 to 8.4 km) from their roosts (Sparks et al, 2005) and in Pennsylvania this distance was 2.7±O.9 krn (1.3 10 5.3' km; Butchkoski and Turner 2005). Due 10 the differences in methodology it is difficult to determine the home ranges of female Indiana bats during th summer (Lacki et al. 2007). Menzel et al. 2005) found no difference between home ranges of male and female bats between May and August ill illinois. Mean home range of the eleven bats in the stud. was 145±18 ha (0.56 sq mi). The mean home range size of 24 females on the Vermont ~N ew York state-l ine was 83±82 ha (0" 3 2 sq rni: Watrous et at. 2006), Both of these estimates-are higher than for a female in Pennsyl ania where home range was estimated at 21 ha (0:08 sq mi: Butchkoski and Turner 2006), As well as differences ill methodology, the range of horne ranges estimated likelyretlects differences in habitat quality between site"


e S is known about the summer habitat of male Indiana bats, although Whitaker and Brack (2002) compiled records in Indiana 0 er the past 20 year where there ar slimmer records tor malesfrom 24 counties. These records suggest that at least in Indiana many male Indiana bats remain in groups in or near the hibemacula during the summer. Groups of at least 19 to 40 male bats were caught in Wyandotte a e in the summer of 1989 (Whitaker and Brack 2002). Of 9] Indiana hats trapped in the vicinity of a Kentucky hibernaculum in the spring, ummer and fall, 77% were male. III addition, 93% f radio-tagged individual that wer relocated near the hioernacula during the summer were male, suggesting that they remained in the area longer than females (Gumbert et al. 2002 . These 60 bats roosted in 280 tree of l7 sp cies, with oak. hickory, and pine species the most commonly used. The mean DBH was 30.3 COl (range 6.4 to 76.3 em) and 84% of the trees were dead. Long-term trapping in a church attic maternity roost has caught adult males Within the roost; however, this may be more a consequence of its location within 2.5 km of the Hartman Mine hibernaculum than male. following females to the roo t (Bulehkoski and Hassinger 2002b). N t all adult males remain at the hibernacula during the summer; some disperse away from the area roosting in tree similar to tho e of'femal maternity roosts. Four adulL males were radio-tracked in Indiana in counties without documented hibemacula, Estimated summer home range of these mal s was between 58 and 400 ha (mean 15211a) with roost trees (two to five per bat) located in both bottomland forest and upland sites. Compared to female Indiana bats males tend to roost alone and to use roost trees with a wider range of diameters, encompassing smaller diameter trees (Butchkoski and Hassinger 2002b;


Gumbert 200 I). 1111S is likely due' to less cost to males to use torpor if the ambient temperature becomes too low (Barclay and Kurt-a 2007).

Foraging Habitat

Research using direct observation and radio-tracking suggests that Indiana bats typically forage in closed to semi-open forested habitat and along forest edges (Humphreyet al. 1977 LaVal et al. 1977, Brack 1983). tudie have consistently shown that foraging occurs preferentially in wooded areas such as flcodplaia/riparian, lowland, and upland forests (Gamet and Gardner 1992; Hobson and Holland 1995; Menzel et al, 2001; Butchkoski and Hassinger 2002' Chenger 2003; Sparks 2003; Murray and Kurta 2004: Sparks et al, 2005a. 2005b). Open deciduous .F! re t were u ed in higher pr portion than availability of this habitat, and developed lands closed deciduous habitats, and mixed deciduous-evergreen habitats were used in lower proportion to a vai labi Ii.ty. Agricul tUIaJ lands intermediate deciduous fo-rests old fie Ids, and open water were used in proportion to availability.

While most research shows Indian bats prefer to forage ill or along the edge of wooded habitat, the have also been recorded in open habitats such as ponds old fields, agricultural crops and pastures (Humphrey et al. J 977; Brack 1983; Clark et al. 1987~ Hobson and Holland 19.95; Gumbert 2001; Sparks et al. 2005a, 2005b). In terms of amount ofuse wooded areas were used more often than agriculture low density development, open water pasture , and. urban areas (Sparks 2003; Sparkset at. 2005a, 2005b). Although the exact location of foraging bats over the landscape is nearly impossible to determine via radio-telemetry the use of old fields and agricultural areas appeared to be primerilyalong forest-field edges, rather than in the interior of fields (Sparks et al, 2005b). Foraging over open fields or water greater than 50 m (150 It) from a forest edge undoubtedly occurs. but these areas are used far less than fore ted and edge areas (Brack 1983, Menzel et al, 200 l, Brack 2006).

In terms of forging height, far less is known but observational studies have shown that Indiana bats hunt primarily around, and not within, the canopy of trees. They will also forage below canopy height to the shrub layer and along forest edges (Cope et aJ. 1974. Humphrey et al. 1977, Belwood J 979, Clark et al. 1987). Use of airspace above the canopy likely 0 'curs, but it is expected that it OCCltTS less than airspace a1 canopy height.

Range and Distribution

TL1e range of the Indiana bat extends throughout much of the eastern United tates and include 22 different states (Gardner and Cook 2002; USFWS 2007' Figure 4). Over the past 40 years general population trends indicate that Indiana bat populations appeal" to bedecreasing in the southern regions and increasing in the northern regions of its range (USFWS 2007). Historically, Indiana bat inter range was restricted to areas of cavernous limestone in the kat t regi ns of the east-central U.S., apparently concentrated at a relatively small number of large complex cave systems. These included Wyandotte Gave in Indiana: Bat, Coach and Mammoth Caves in Kentucky; Great cott Cave in Missouri; and Rocky Hollow Cave in Virginia. However, more recently, increasingly greater numbers of Indiana bats began using man-made structures such' mines and tunnels as well as natural Caves, for hibernation; thus extending their winter range into some caveless parts of the country (Kurta and Teramino 1994). Currently according to USFWS records, as of November 2006 there are 28-1 known extant Indiana bat hibernaeula in 19


tales. However, over 90% of the estimated range-wide population hibernates in just five states; Indiana (4-.2' %), Missouri (14.2 %), Kentucky (13.6 %), 11ll1lOis (9.7 %), and Ne York (9.1 %). )f these. 71.6% hibernates in just fa caves' and 82% of the estimated total population hibernates in 22 of the 23 Priority 1 hibernacula (U. FWS 2007~ see description below), Recently there has been some expansion of the inter range of this species as a result of occupying manmade hibemacula, For example, everal man-made tunnel ia Pennsyl ania have held hibernating Indiana bats :(USFW 2007). and in late l 993, an Indiana bat was discovered hibernating in, a hydroelectric dam in Manistee County, Michigan (Kurta and Teramino ] 994 . This dam was 45'0 km from the closest recorded hibemaculum for lndiana bat in La aile ounty, Illinois. In 2005, appro drnatel 30% of the population hibernated in man-made structures (predominantly mines), while the other 78% used natural caves (U ... FWS 2007).

Figure 4. Approximate range of Indiana bat in the U.S.

Due to the nature of summer roosts ( ee Habiuu Requirementsi little is known about the historic summer range of this species, The first maternity colony was not discovered until 1971 (Cope et al, J 974); it is however believ d that the historical summer distribution was similar to that of today, As of October 2006 the USFWS had records of 269 maternity colonies that ate considered locally extant in [6 states. This likely represent onl 6-9% of the 2859 to 4;574


colonies estimated 'to exist based on the estimated total wintering population size (Whitaker and Brack 2002; USFWS 20(7). The distribution of Indiana bat summer habitat (rnaternit colonies) in the northeast appears to be less exiensi ethan iO! the Midwest (see range maps in U FWS 2007). This may be due 10 geographic distribution of important hibernacula or due to differences in climate and elevation that may limit suitable summer colony sites. Summers in the northeast region are typically co ler 01' wetter, especiallj with increasing elevation and this rna affect the energetic feasibilit or reproduction in these areas (Brack et al. 2002). Brack et at (2002) examined the effect of elevation on the abundance of breeding female Indiana bats in West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and concluded that the proportion of reproductive I active bats decreased with increasing elevation. Portions of Indiana bat range in West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are slightly ooler in summer than temperatures in the core part of the range in Indiana, Kentucky. and Missouri, and there is a. 6.4° decrease in temperature for each increase of 1 ,QOO m in elevation (Brack et al. 2002; Woodward and Hoffman 1991).

Dispersal and Migration

Seasonal movements of bats vary Widely in scale. Based on categories described by Fleming and Eb (2005), species can be divided into three-movement categories: (1) sedentary species: breed and hibernate in the same localareas usually moving less than 3,0 miles (50 km between summer arid winter roosts: (2) regional migrants: migrate moderate distances between 60 to 310 miles (100 to 500 krn.); and (3) long-distance migrants: have highly developed migratory behavior sometimes tra reling greater than 620 miles (I ~OOO km) between summer and winter roosts. Dispersal distance of Indiana bats from winter hibernacula to summer roost sites varies geographically categorizing them between sedentary and regional migrant depending on location. In. Michigan. 12 female Indiana bats studied moved 011 average 477 km (-296 mi) to their hibernacula in Indiana and Kentucky (Winhold and Kurta 2006). In contrast, based on study of more than 70 taggedlndlana bats ill New York. dispersal movements were- typically less than 60 kID (-35 mi) and m many cases on1y a few kilometers from the hibernacula (A. Hicks, NY £C, pers. cornm.). In general, based on results of stud ies 10 date. S urnmer range of Indiana bats could be an)' suitable babirat with 300 miles of known winter hibemacula,

Species Status and Occurrence

Indiana bat wa included on the I ist of endangered species in 1967 prior to the enactment of Lhe Endangered Species Act (USFWS 1967). At the Lime of listing primar threats to the species were believed to include loss of habitat and human disturbance impacts especially at winter hibernacula and a general lack of knowledge about the species biology and distribution (USFWS 1999).


According to the re ised Indiana Bat Reeo ery PLan (U • W 2007), the 2005 population estimate 0 Indiana bats was 457 608 individuals, The updated species population estimates for 2006 and 2007 ere 425.430 and 468,184 respectively (USFWS 2008). The core of the species range is believed to be primarily in the Midwestern states of Indiana, KentuckyyIllinois and Missouri where greater than 82% of the Indiana bat. population winters. As of November 2006. there were records of 2 81 extant Indiana bat hi bema ubi. in 19 states (USFW S 2007). Almost h.alf (45.2%) of the e timated range-wide population hibernated in Indiana with significant


portions hibernating ;0, Missouri (14.2 %). Kentucky (13.6 %), 1lLi11Qis (9.7 '%) and New York (9.1 %).

A key eornponenr to the ur ivai and recovery of Indiana bat is maintenance of suitable hibernacula that insures th over-winter survival of sufficient indi iduals to maintain population viability, The 2007 Revised Indiana Bat Recovery Plan (U FW 2007) categorize hibernacula into four groups based on the priority to the species population and distribution. Priority 1 hibernacula are essential to the recovery and long-term censer ation of the Indiana bat. These sites ha e a current and/or historically observed winter population of ?,lO,OOO individuals. Pri fit)' 2 hibernacula contribute 10 the recovery and long-term conservation of the Indiana bat. These sites have a current and/or historical papulation of > 1 ,000 but <10,000 indi viduals, Priority 3 site' have a current and/or historical population of 50-1 000' bat and Priority 4 sites have a current and/or historical population of fewer than 5Q bats.

ince the release of the firstIndiana Bat Recover), Plan in 1983 (US FW 1983) the U FWS has implemented a biennial monitoring program at Pri.ority I and 2 hibernacula in an effort to monitor the overall Indiana bat population (USFW 2007). In ] 965 lhe overall Indiana bat population was estimated at over 880,000 individuals. While variation in the data collection apparently has led to variable estimates, i11 general the U FWS has reponed a long-term declining population trend to about 380,000 individuals in 200]. Since that time the population ha shown increases to a 2008 estimate of approximately 468 000 (USFWS 20Q.8). General patterns in the over-all stimates have been a decreasing trend through the core of the species range with increasing trends on the periphery and more northern states, The causes of the population changes are unknown, but climate change was belie ed to playa. role in that it may affect temperature in hibemacula (see V FWS 2007). More re curly, Indiana bat populations in the northeastern U. S. have been affected by white nose syndrome which may ultimately result ill large population change.

White no e syndrome is a poorly understood ailment related to the death ofthousands of bats ill the northeastern U.S. The condition is named for a distinctive white fungal growth around the muzzles and 011 the wings of affected animals. WNS was first identified in caves neal' Albany. New York in 2006 and has spread to Vermont Massachusetts and Connecticut by 2008 and most recentb to New Jersey, Pennsyl ania, Virginia and West Virginia in 2009. It is not known if the fungal growth i a causative agent in the hat deaths or an opportunistic infection invading due to lowered immune response or other reasons. Loss of winter fat stores, pn umonia. and the disruption of hibernation and feeding cycles are associated with the death of infected bats. The disease is proving catastroj hie to bat population with mortality rates exceeding 90% over two

ears for most infeccc:d caves.

New York

In 2007, approximately 11.3% of the estimated range-wide population of Indiana bats hibernated in New York State (USFWS 2008), and C)O% of all Indiana bats, in the northeast portion of the species range (New York, Massachusett • Vermont, New Hampshire) hibernated in the state (Hicks and Novak 2002). Numbers of Indiana bats in New York have steadily increased since 19:80 to a current population estimate of approximately 52,800 individuals (USFWS 200.8).


There are 16 known Indiana bat hibernacula in the state, one of which was just discovered in 2008 (R Niver USFWS, pers. comrn .• USFW 2008), and of these 13 have extant winter (at least one record sin e 1995) populations (USFW 2007). Of the New York hibernacula, two are classified as Priority 1 ~ 10,000). four are Priority 2 (1 000-9,999), three are Priority .3 (50-999), five are Priority 4 (1-49) hibernacula and one an 'ecological trap" (USFW 2007). Three of the Priority 4 hibemacula are considered e: tinct (USFWS 2007). The two Priorit 1 hibernacula, 'Walter Williams Preserve line and Williams Hotel Mine, are both situated in Ulster ounty in the southeastern part of the state. 2007 estimates for these hibernacula were 11,394 and 15,438 individuals re pectivel (USFWS 2007). The Williams Hotel Mine was only discovered in the past 10 years. Othe-r hibernaeula in New York State are found in Albany Jefferson Es .x, Onondaga. choharie, Columbia, and Warren and Counties (Figure 5). III addition .. a small hibernacula was discovered in range County in 2008 (R. Niver USFW pers. comm.). The mUlTI ber of matemi ty colonies recorded for the state is 31 ; however this only represents a smal I portion due to the limit d nature of surveys for maternal colonies. Maternity colonies have been recorded in eight counties including three counties that do not contain Indiana bat hibemacula (Oswego Cayuga, and Dutchess) (Figure 5). Seneca County contains 'summer re ords of Indiana bats other thai' reproductive females.

F.OI\lIoyJ:'I'.gp'_ Counties With Indiana Bat Records

o Hitlernacula and -surnmer records

1_ J Slimmer records only



Figure S. Indiana bat distribution in New York based on county occurrence records.



The propo ed project area is located on the Cape Vincent peninsula in uorthwe tern New Yorl within the lreat Lakes Plain ecozone (Andrle and Carroll] 988). Elevation oftbe ecozone varies fi'OID about 100-500 feet. The dominant egetation type was historically northern hardwood forest: oaks, beech. sugar maple, white ash, and black cherry' but agricultural clearing has left. the region approximately 20% wooded (Andrle and Carroll 1988,). orne of the ecozone on the Cape Vincent peninsula is characterized b Alvar ecosystems: grasslands shrublands and sparsely vegetated rock barrens that develop on Gal limestone where soils are very shallow (Edinger et al. 20(2). Currently, the primary land use of the project area is agriculture, in tb form of pasture/hay and cropland (Figure 6). Vegetation of the project is a mosaic of primarily open pasture/hay fields. era plan d. with smaller amounts of scattered deciduous tree woodlots, shrub-scrub, and developed areas. Approximately 77% of the land cover in the project is

pasture/hay fields or cropland (Table 1). .

Habitat Survey

Based on existing land use/land cover data (NAIP 20li)i'l), the majority of the project area is composed of grassland agriculture habitats; howev r. there are some areas of potentialh suitable Indiana bat summer habitat in the form of scattered deciduous forest; mixed forest, and woody wetlands (Figure 7). Exiting land use/land cover mapping. topographic maps and aerial photos of the project area were used to facilitate ground surveys to map potentially suitable J ndiana bar

urnmer habitat and in particular locale wood lots with trees and haracteristics of suitable habitat based on that described in the USFW Indiana Bat Recovery Plan (U FWS 2007). A tala] . f 873.6 acres of deciduon forest, 596.8 acres of fragmented forest/shrub areas, and 25.3 acres of mixed forest considered suitable for Indiana bat occurrence were mapped in the project area and anea within approximately a one-mile buffer (Figure 7). Man. of the forests thai were within the project area were contiguous with areas outside the project. creating larger block' of suitable habitat thai could potentially be affected (see Figure 7). Much of the potential! suitable forested areas were located along the southern boundary of the project area (see Figure 7).


-= r-
.... N
Ii;;;, e (

Table 1. Land II e 1 land cover within the ... r, Lawrence Wind POl er pringl ummer Home Ranze,

Potentia] Permanent

Land Use/Land .over Acre Percent of Temporary Impacts

Action Arealmp~cts (acres) (acres)

pen Water 15429.2 2J.9 0.00 0.00

Developed. Open Space 489.0 0.9 0.72 0.06

Developed 1986.1 2.7 1.95 0.67

Deciduous Forest 4391.6 7.9 4.78 0.83

Evergreen Forest 89.5 0.2 0.0 0.00

Mixed Forest 43.8 0.1 0.0 0,00

... hrub/Scrub 2852.0 5.2 3.36 0.63

Grassland 1993.3 3.6 5.55 1.09

Pasture/Hay 201 ] 3.6 36.3 122.70 32.58

ultivated Crops 4 63.6 8.8 69.16 12.64

Woody Wetlands 2793.9 5·.0 1.14 0.19

Emergent Wetlands 796.2 1.4 0.0 0.00

Total ~5358.6 ] 00.0 209.36 48.69

I Impacts calculated based on construction constraints described below (lndireot Impacts). It is unlikely thai alJ temporary impacts will be realized.

:2 Developed equals low intensity, medium jntensity, high intensity areas combined.

Action Area

The action area is defined as the area in which all potential direct and indirect effects- fram the proposed action For the purposes of this BA and the effects analysis, action areas were considered for the spring/summer breeding period and the fall/winter swarming and hibernation period (Figure 8).

The population of Indiana bats that potentially could be affected by the project Was assumed to be the population that hibernares in the Glen Park cave near Watertown, New York, which is the nearest known Indiana bat hibemaculum, This ca e is approximately 17 miles southeast of the SLW project area. TIle direct effects (e.g., collision fatalities of individual bat) could occur within the project area itself. lndirecr effects (e.g., reduced numbers of bats in the population) could occur within the overall area occupied by this population. of bats the spring summer home range and the fall/winter home range. We have determined that the action area is the project area transmissi n line and the spring/summer home rang (see Figure 8).

To better define thespring/surnmer home range, nigln time foraging data for individuals tracked £rom the located roost trees was used to determine the colony home range or use area (R. Niver U FW", pers. c mm.). Two bats were tracked during night-Lime foraging acti: ities during the site studies (SEl 2007a). A juvenile male was tracked for five nights and 011· average traveled a maximal distance of approximately 4:.5 miles from the daytime roost tree ( EJ 2007a). An adult female was tracked for three nights and on average traveled a maximal distance of approximately


0.9 miles from the daytime rOO t tree (SE1 2007a). Based on this data the spring/summer home range v as defined as the area within the project boundary and the area encompassed by a 4~mile buffer around the known roost trees located during the studies (Figure 8 .

Thi figure has been removed, as it contain sen sitive information.

It ha been provided to the Planning Board, USFWS and DEC for their re iew.

Figure 8. Spring/Summer and lI'all!Winter Home Ranges for the t. Lawrence Windflower Project,

The fall/winter home range wa defined as the area encompassed by a 1 O-rnile around the GI n Park cave (Figure 8). Studies at the Fort Drum Military Installation found thaI Indiana bats traveled up to 9.5 miles from the hibernaculurn during the Call swarming period o;ST 2008). This J()~miJe buffer on the Glen Park.ulre fall/winter home range, does not encompass any of the spring/summer home range (Figure 8). It is not expected that fall swarming or 'winter hibernating activity of Indiana bat will occur witb in any of the spring/summer area.

Project Area

The land within the project area is privately owned and the primary land use is agriculture and dairy farming (Figure 6). There are scattered farms and house . throughout the project and adjacent to the Toads. Vegetation of the project is a mosaic of open grass/hay fields cultivated agriculture, and scattered deciduous tree wood lots. The deciduous forest type rends to be variable in size with SOID,e small woodlots intermixed with agriculture fields and some larger blocks of forest. particularly in low-lying areas unsuitable for farming. Several inlets, creeks, and wetland forests occur within the project area, Mo t ofth project development will OGCUJ' in agricultural Gelds.


Species Status within the Action Area Jefferson County

The revised Indiana Bat Draft Recovery Plan (USFWS 2007) lists two hibernacula in Jefferson Co lint. both of which are on privately ownedlands. Glen Park is a Priority 2 hi bern acu I LUll with u maximum all-time population estimate of 3,129 bats and a maximum population estimate of 2,264 since 2000. Glen Park Commercial is a PrioriLy4 hibernaculum with a maximum all-time population estimate of 3;2 bats and a maximum population estimate of zero since 2000 (Hicks and Novak 2(02).

In 2005. the NYSDE radio-tagged Indiana bats ill the Glen Park hibemaculum. Thirty females and two males were radio-tagged and 26 of these were tracked to at Least one [0' st tree. The majority of the lagged bats flew south upon emerging from hibernation; 110 wever, some dispersed to the north and one due west of the cave (Figure 9). No tagged bats dispersed to the east of the cav . Information from NYSDEC suggests that the summer distribution of Indiana bats in New York probably occurs below 900 feet elevation (A. Hicks, NYSDEC, pers. comm.), It is likely that tile Glen Park population of Indiana bat is constrained to the east by higher elevation areas. Based on data from the radio tracking surveys of bats from Glen Park cave the maximum distance individuals were tracked traveling was approximately 17.5 miles (28.5 krn),

There are al 0 ten recorded e rtant maternity colonies in Jeffers n ounty (USFWS 2007. Niver 2009); though this is likely an underestimate of the total present due to the limited number of surveys and difficulties in finding maternal colonies. NY. DECpenodically conducts winter counts in Indiana bat hibernacula aero s the state. The Glen Park cave was visited in the winter .of 2007 -2008. The total Indiana bat numbers estimated frOIJ.1 the 2008 survey was approx imately 1250 and in 2009 the estimated count wasupproximately 1700 (A Hicks, NYSDEC, pers,

cornm.), which is roughly one-half of the all time maximum number recorded for Olen Park cave. Surveys in the winter of 2007-2008 confirmed the presence of WNS in the Glen Park Cave. IL is unknown at thi time bow the Glen Park hibernaculum will be. affected by WN but the number of Indiana bats counted over the last two ears appears to indicate that the colony size has not experienced the declines chat .. vould be expected within an infected cave. The counts may also indicate that the colony was originally larger than was reported by winter counts because not all cl LI ters of bats could be located in the complex cave system (A Hicks, NYSDEC. pers, comm.),

The Glen Park hibernaculum (also known as the Labyrinth System or Watertown) is a shallow, mazelike, limestone cave with.more than 4,000 rn of passage, 400 intersections, and at least 47 entrances. there are three distinct sections that regularly contain Indiana bat clusters but because midwinter counts exceed total from early winter, indicating that bats move around '\ ithin the cave. other undiscovered r osts within the cave are likely (Hicks and Novak 2002).


This figure has been remo ed, a it contains sensm e information.

It has been provided to (he Planning Board, U FW and DEC for their revic ~'.

'isure 9. Distribution of radio tagged female bats from the Glen Park cave in 2005.

Spring/Summer Home Range

ACOUS'lLC bat surveys carried out in 2006 within the project area by WEST determined that ofthe Myot! -like culls recorded. 63% were identified to species a follows: ea tern red bat (22 calls), Jirrle brown bat (50 calls), northernmyotis (44 calls) and Indiana bat (16 calls) (Kerns et aL 2007a). I ndiana bat calls were recorded at several locations within the project area from May 9 to September 21, 2006 with about half of the calls occurring at one sampling location between May 23 and May 29, 2006. No sampled nights at any site bad >2 can files with characteristics of Indiana hal. Due to the probabilistic nature and opportunity for misidentification and inaccuracy in, species identification, il 'is generally accepted that multiple calls of a species should be detected in a single night to definitive! determine species presence (Britzke et at. 2002)_ This is a conservative approach, bUL serves to ensure that variation caused by inaccurate identification is 11 1 included in the pecies identification results. Based on this approach. there ere insufficient files to statistical! support the presence of lndiana bats Ell any of the sites or nights examined (E. Britzke, per. comm.) during the baseline studies. How vel', based on the call evidence, there was strong possibility that indiana bats occurred on the site,

Following discussions with NY DEC and U FWS regarding the possibility of Indiana bats occurring within the project area, habitat mapping was carried out to determine the extent of suitable habitat (see above), the level of netting effort required to' determine presence/abs nee (USFWS 2007),. and potential mist-netting locations (Figure 7). In the summer of 2007, mistnetting was conducted at a total of 15 net locations over six sites in the SL W Project area (see Methods above, SEI 2007c). Mist netting surveys were again repeated in 2008al23 net locations oyer 11 shes in the project-area ( El 2008). In 2007 four I ndiana bats were captured at three of


the six sites and included ODe adult male two juvenile males and one adult female. All three of the capture locations were in the western portion of ' the project area and relati el close to the sub equently di co ered maternal colon (Figure to). In 2008 no indiana bats were captured at the eleven sites.netted,

Indiana bats captured during the mist netting Sill' ey were fitted with radio transmitters to allo subsequent relocations at roosttrees ( ET 2007b). These bats were relocated during the daytime, and the rOO t trees being used were mapped (Figure t 1). The adult male was never relocated; presumably it left the project area. The two juvenil males were tracked to a cluster of trees that was subsequently determined to be a maternal concentration area. TI1e adult female was tracked to the same swamp complex as the j uvenile males but to a different area and cl lister of roost trees east of the maternal concentration area (Figure J 1). The cluster of IOQst tree located via tracking the juvenile males was also netted. This netting resulted in the capture of 17 additional Indiana bats, of which two adult females were also fitted with transmitters (SEI 2007b),. A total of 21 individual lndlana bats v etc captured during the studie including 10 adults (3 male, 7 female) and 11 juveniles (8 male, 2 female, 1 unknown).

Till figure has been removed as it contains sensitive information.

It ha been pro ided to the Planning Board, USFWS and DEC for their review,

Figure Hl. Indiana bat mist-netting survey sites, 2007-2008.


Tracking of the six bats with radio tran miners resulted in the location of 13 individual day roost trees (Figure It). All of the roost trees wer outside the SL W Project area to the south. Twel e of the trees were located to the south of the SLW Project area and one tree was located approximately 3.5 miles south of the project area (Figure 11). he maximal distance between rOOSl trees was approximately 3.4 miles, but the furthest southern roosL tree was located within approximatel 2.2 miles of the next nearest roost (Figure ] 1). Eleven day roosts were in red maple trees. with two in dead white ash trees. Roost trees had the following dimensions: average DBH 16.5 inches (range 9.5 to 37.4 inches), average height 62.B f1 (range 48.0 to 76.8 £1), and average hours of direct sunlight was 8.2 hrs (range 0 to 14 hrs). Individuals used multiple roost trees, and ro051 trees were used by multiple individuals. One ju enile male traveled between tw forest patches approximately 3.5 miles apart and one adult female roosted in trees within the same forest patch but approximately 2 miles apart. Emergence counts were carried out by a single observer at eight f the roost trees, \;I,<1t11 three trees being observed on two separate evenings. Exit num bets ranged from one to 19 individuals, although dense canopy COVeT and low light obscured exiting bats likely resulting in underestimated counts.

In addition to radio-tracking to identif roost trees, two bats, one adult female and one juvenile male, were radio-tracked for three and five nights, respectively to determine nightly distance traveled and the location of use, presumably foraging areas (SE1 2007a). Mo einents for the juvenile male at times exceeded nineteen travel mile in one night. The ju enile male traveled longer distances (average minimum nightly travel distance 12.8 miles [range 4.9 to 19.8 milesj) than the adult female who stayed close to the roost area (average minimum nightly travel distance 6.3 miles [range 4.7 [07.1 miles]). Results are based on a small sarnpl size; however, they are similar to other rudies in which adult females traveled 0.5 to 4.21GTI from the day roost to forage and ju eniles used larger foraging areas. thanadult females (Murray and Kurta 2004' Woodlot Alternatives 2006). TIle data indicate that juvenile males may tend 10 travel further than adult females possibly because they are not tied to the roost tree for reproduction. The juvenile male utilized areas within the south-eastern part f the proposed project area areas to the south areas within and adjacent to the village of Cape Vincent, and ven crossed part of the t. Lawrence River towards Wolfe Island Canada, on one night (SEI 2007a). The adult female however. used much more restricted areas and primarily remained in the woodlots along the southern portion of the Project and to the s011111 of the project area. Neither individual spent substantial amount of time foraging in the project area (Figure 11, EI 2007a). Foraging area for the adult female only 0 erlapped the project area in the vicinity of the proposed transmis ion line where it' exits the project area to the south (Figure 11). Foraging areas for the juvenile male were primarily south and west of the proposed project but it did cross the western end of the project area and. spent some time foraging in the village of Cape Vine nt (SEI 2007a). Consistent with published information on foraging habitat (see summary above) foraging areas recorded during th stud we re ill wooded areas, along forest edge. the riparian corridor of Kent's reek or [he Village of Cape Vine en t, which is heavily treed (Figure 11, SET 2007a).

While the actual number is unknown, it is believed that a single maternal colony was located during this study based on the night time movements and roost tree spacing. The ju enile male traversed between the forest patches where all toast trees were located and while it could have been visiting a second maternal €olollY area to the south (roost tree 2.2 miles south; see Figure


11). It could Dol be confirmed that this was a iecond maternal colony. The U FW" generally considers all roost trees within 2.5 miles ofeach other a single colony. The overall mist-netting effort considered the entire area proposed for turbine arid road d velopmem (Figure 10). Indiana bats were only captured at locations Dear the located maternal colony and all the radio-tracked bats were re-located in trees within approximately 2.2 miles of each other. Under the assumption that all roost trees within 2.5 miles of each other are part of a single colony, this \ auld sugge t that all the Indiana bat captured were associated "villi one colony.

The total number of .maternal colonie' establi h d by bats 'from the Olen Park cave can be estimated using a different set of assumptions. The 2007 winter estimate for Indiana bats in Glen Park was approximately 1400· 1500 (A. Hicks NYSDEC, pers, comm.), Under the assumption that the sex ratio is 50:50 there would be approximately 725 female Indiana bats in this population. Under the assumption that OE average. each maternal colony contains 50 females there would be up to 15 maternal colonies established each summer by Indiana bats from Glen Park. The NY DEC tracked 26 female Indiana bats from the Glen Park cave to 0 er 50 roost trees (see Figure 9). Under th assumption that roost trees within 2.5 mile radius of each other are part of one colony the NYSDEC tracking resultsrepreseni 10-12 maternal colonies. Provided there are only 15 maternal colonies associated "\ .tth the Glen Park cave bats. the NYSDE distribution is likely representative of the summer distribution of Indiana bats in Jefferson County. This suggests that there are j101 numerous addiuonal maternal colonies locati tns and the maternal colony south of SLW represents an expansion of the known distribution. Prior to the SLW site studies, the nearest potential maternal colony" as 6 miles east of the project area (see. Figure 9). This scenario support the hypothesis that the located maternal colony is the only one near the primary project area.


Potential effects associated with the proposed aotion include direct effects indirect effect, and effects from interrelated or interdependent actions. Direct effects are resultsof tbe proposed action and w.ould include effects such as mortality, itljury or harassment of individuals, Indirect effects are those that are caused by or ill result from the propo ed action and are reasonably certain (0 occur: these would include potential harm from alterations in roosting and/or foraging habitat. Effects may be temporary (short-term), for example during the project construction period or long-term, such as effects arising from long-term operation and maintenance of tbe facility (Table 2). Also, effects could be cumulative or qualified as effects of future state or private activities reasonably certain to. occur within the Action Area.


Table 2. Potential impacts to threatened and endangered specie from the project,

Impact Tvpe

Im pact Da ration



Short- Term (e.g .. during construction)

Mertality or injury from construction, or related activity.

Temporary loss of habitat from constructionareas thai, UJ be reclaimed.

Di turbance from construction

Prohibiting or altering (di placement) use of the area due to construction activity.

Altering or disturbing species bella lor patterns due to construction activity,

eng-Term (e.g., during

proj ec I operat ion a nd mainten ance)

Mortality. Dr injury due to wind plant Permanent Joss of habitat to wind

operation. project.

Disturbance from maintenance. Prohibiting or altering (displacement) use of the area due to the wind project.

Altering or disturbing pecie beha ior patterns due to wind project operation.

Altering or changing species distribution patterns due 10 the wind project,

For Indiana bats, there are no known winter hibernacula within or adjacent to the project area that rna be affected by the Project construction r operation. Based on available information, I'C ults of the site surveys ~U1d distance to the nearest known hibernacula, it is assumed that Indiana bats (both male and female) may occupy 'the project area fromapproximately mid-April through September. By September it is assumed that Indiana bats that were in the project 'area during the summer have returned to the hibernaculum for the mating season (swarming), which in thi case i One Glen Park cave near Watert wn, New York (see Figure 5). While results of studies have been variable and some Indiana bats have been documented traveling Up 10 19 miles in a.night during the JaU! summer mating/swarming season, most appear 10 roost withinamile Or two. of the hibernaculum, and particularly small (Priority 3) hiberna uta (although GI en Park is a P2 hibernacula) during IJ]j season (USFWS 2007). Based on the defined fall/winter home range (see' above), and the assumption that the Indiana bats that occur in the project area during tbe summer spend the winter (hibernate) in the Glen Park cave, the Project will 001 affect , ,i-nterLng or swarming Indiana bats. The following: effects analysis focuses on potential impacts to summer breeding Indiana bats (one maternal colony) within the spring/summer home' rang and impacts to. the Glen Park population as a whole.


Direct Effects

Direct effects to Indiana bats from the project may include mortality, injury or harassment (temporary due to construction or long-term due to operation of the wind project).

Potential Mortal'ity

Construction - The pus ibility of short-term (i.e., due to con unction aetivit ) mortality effects from the project rna OCC.UT if a tree occupied by roosting Indiana bats is removed due to construction, Appro: irnately 2.5 acres of upland woods will be cut for the road and transmission line. As currently planned. any clearing will occur bet een October 1 and May 1) prior to initiating road construction: therefore, i't is unlik Iy mat a roosting Indiana bat would be directl affected by construction because Indiana Bats are not expected to be present ill the project area between mi l-Septernber and mid-April. The possibility of other construction activity causing mortalityof Indiana bats i_s considered unlikely as typical turbine construction equipment is eith r stationary or slow moving and little if aIT_ construction will occur at night when bats would be most active. No c-ollision related mortality with construction equipment is anticipated.

Mel Towers - Once the wind constructed and operational Indiana bats in the area may be at risk of collision with turbines or meteorological (met) towers. Bat collision mortality with met towel'S bas not been reported for an , other wind project monitored including those with guyed met towerst ee for example Jain et al, 2007; Young et aL 2003). While the project mel towers could conceivabl r he a collision hazard theyare not expected to be a haz .. ard to bats, which easil Jily around stationary structures and they are not expected to cause mortality of bats of any species.

Turbines - Bat fatalities have been reported due to collision with and barotrauma from wind turbines at most wind power projects that have been studied. Although the level of mortalit has been variable across regions, specie-s, and seasons (see summaries in Arnett et al. 2008; Johnson 200 S), mortality studies of bats at wind projects in the U.S. have shown everal common trends:

• Risk to bats fr m wind turbines is unequal across species. The majority of bat fatalities at wind projects in the U. . and Canada have been in the Lasiuru: genus, hoary bat (£ashirus ,c;nerells) and red hal (1. borealis), and silver-haired bats Lasionycteris noctivagansi. These- species are foliage or fore tltree dwelling longdistance migrant species. The fatality pool for some eastern studies also includes a number 01' eastern pipistrelles (Pipistrellus sllbjlavlu~) another tree-dwelling r gional migrant species during the summer months. The least common fatalities are of big brown bats and MYOlis pecies, Numerous studies across the U.S. and Canada have shown this trend (see Johnson 2005).

• Risk [ bat, from wind turbines is unequal across seasons. The highest mortality QCClU'S during what is believed to be the post-breeding diaper al or fall migration period for bats from roughly late-July to mid-September. Numerous studies across th U.S. and Canada have shown this trend (see Johnson 2005).


• Information from tudies indicates that baseline AnaBat data doe not appear to be predictive of p st-construction impacts. Studies at Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota (Johnson er al, 2003) and Buffalo Mountain, Tennessee (Nicholson 2002 2003) did not find a correlation between the number of AnaBat calls or species of bats recorded and mortality. ummer Anabat surveys at Maple Ridge, New York recorded approximately 20.6 bat passes per detector-boll (>160 per detector night) (Reynolds 2004)" however mortality at this site ranged from 8.2-24.5 bats per turbine per year which is lower than sites in the mid-Atlantic states where mortality has ranged from 20.8-63.9 per turbine per year (Table 3).

• AnaBat surveys and fatality survey hawed a general association between the timing of the greatest number of bat calls and mortality, with both call rates and mortality being the highest during the late summer arid early full periods.

• Sureties at different locations in the U.S. and Canada appear to indicate that bat mortality is not related to site featuresor habitat. While it is hypothesized that eastern deciduous forests in mountainous areas may be high risk areas (Am n e1. al. 2005). high bat mortality has also occurred at wind projects in prairie/agricultural settings (Alberta, anada; Baerwald 2007) and mixed deciduous woods and agricultural settings (Maple Ridge New York Jain et al. 2007).

Table 3. Summary of bat mortality from wind project monitoring rndle within the range of Indiana bat.

No.of Estimated Total No. Year( )
Project Name [state] Turbines No. Bats ofba tudied Reference
/turbine/vr Recorded
Buffalo Mountain [Tf'{] 3 20.S 120 2000-2003 Fielder 2004
Buffalo Mountain [fN] 18 63.9 243 2005 Fi,elder t al. 2007
Mountai neer [WVJ 44 47.5 475 Z003 Kern and Kerlinger 2004
Mountaineer [WV] 44 45.11 466 2004 Arnett et al, 2005
Crescent Ri.dge IILJ 33 4.92 2'1 2005 Kerlirrger et al.2007
Myersdale [rAJ 20 32.71 299 20Q4 Arnett et al, 2005
Maple Ridge [NY] 120 24.5 326 2006 Jain et al, 2007
Maple Ridge [NY] 195 15.5 284 2007 Jain et al. 2008
Maple Ridge [NY] 195 8.2 216 2008 Jain et a 1. 2009
Penn ylvania [PAl 10 30.1 21J 2001 Capouillez and Mumma 2008
asselman [PAl 23 32.2 148 2008 Arnett et al. 2009b
MOLlIlt Storm [\vV] 82 24.23 209 2008 Young et al, 20093
Mount Storm [WV] 132 7.53 54 2t3.09 Young et al, 20Mb.
Mount Storm [WV] 132 21.1 ) 211 2009 Young et al. 2010
To tall Ave(age 27.0 3283 estimate for the 6 .. week studv period

2 estimate based on simulated ~earcbeJ.··efficiency 3 estimate Ior the 12-week study period .


Predi ring bat fatality impacts is difficult ba ed on the available information. In general to date, post-construction mortality data collected at existing regional projects appears to be the best available predictor of mortality levels and species composition for proposed wind projects. lL is expected that impacts lO bats at 'the L W ite would be more similar to other eastern wind projects, for example. than sites in the mid-west or western U.S.

Seven studies of wind projects have recorded both ArulBa.t detections per night and bat ruortality (Table 4. At the Maple Ridge Wind Project New York, some AnaBal data was collected during the summer breeding season prior to the monitoring study (Reynolds 2004) and there I,.vRS some concurrent AnaBa1 . ampling during the second year of monitoring: however, results of this analysis have not been made available at this lime (B. Gary NY DEC pers. cornm.). Th number of bat calls per night as determined from Analsat detectors shows a rough correlation with bat mortality (Table 4). These results are somev hat misleading. however. as the species of bats recorded were om determined in most cases and it is likely that many of the bats recorded were of specie-s not at high risk from wind turbines,

Tallie 4. Wind projects .in the U .

. wi h both AosBat sampling datil and mortality data for aU bat.specie '.

project Area

Study Period

Detector Bat activity Mortality

nights Cit/detector/hight) (#/turbine!:yr)


Buffalo Ridge, MN Foote Creek Rim, WY Mount Stann, WV Buffalo Mountain, TN Top of Iowa, IA Mount Storm, WV Mountaineer, WV

JWl 15~Sep I. 200 I

JUD IS.Sep 1,2000-01 Mar 14,2009 Apr J -Sep 30, 2~0 1-02 May 26-Sep 24, 2004 July 17-0(;t 17.2008 Aug l-Sep 14. 2004

216 2_'

39 441 149 42 560


John on er al, 2003


2.1 1.3 Gruver 2002
16.L 7.45 YOtlJ'lg eral. 2009b
23.7 20.8 F ied ler 2004
34.9 10.2 Koford et al, 2005
35.2 24.2 Young et al, 2009a
38.3 38.0 Amen 2005 Results of the pre-project AnaBat surveys from the S - W Project area were variable by season and highest during the summer menths (Kerns et at 2007a). Bar activity expr ssed as the average number of calls per detector-night recorded in [be study area (19.7-22.0 bats per detector-night) was not as high as the projects recording the highest bat mortality (Table 4) and. the call rate dropped in the fall (9.3 bat per detector-night) when the peak of bat mortalit has been recorded at other sites studied in the 0,5. (Johnson 2005), Annual bat fatality estimates from the Maple Ridge wind project, the nearest monitored pr jecl to L W, varied from approx i matel y 8 to 24 bats per turbine depend ing on the scare h frequenc y used and the yearo f study ( ee Jain et al. 2007, 2008 2009). Pre-project summer bat activity recorded al the Maple Ridge site (Reynolds 2004) was higher than St. Lawrence. A[ the Maple Ridge site, Reynolds (2004) reported bat dele lion as the number of call per detector-hour (mean of 20.6 calls per detector-hour for passive sampling in the summer season). Results from the SLW study area expressed as number per detector-hour Were much lower - mean of ~2.4 calls per detector-hour for summer passive sampling. This may indicate that bat mortality at St. Lawren e would be lower than Maple Ridge, but summer bat mortality is generally lower at all wind projects studied

Johns II 2005), including Maple Ridge (Jain et al 2007,2008, 2009). No AnaBat sur eys were conducted in the fall at Maple Ridge (Reynolds 2004) for comparison when bats are 1110st at risk.


In general, bas d on the site surveys and results of monitoring studies, bat mortalit at SLW is not expected 'La be higher than other eastern sites studied. pring and summer mortality levels for bats are expected to be lower than the fall. The species expected to be th most COrIlllOU fatalities would .includ hoary bat, eastern red bat: and silver-haired bat with fewer numbers of big brown bat, little brown bat, and northern myotis. Eastern pipistrelle rarely occurs in northern New York and no, fatalities 'of this species; commonly recorded at more southern wind projects in the eastern U.S .. would be expected,

While study results suggest that bat mortality at SLW, in general, may be similar to other wind

ites studied in the eastern U.S., they do not pro ide much insight into potential Indiana bat mortality, Little information has been acquired regarding the circumstancers) under which an Indiana bat fatality couJd occur. To date, only one Indiana bat fatality has been recorded at a wind project that has been studied with post-construction monitoring (Parham 20] 0). The fatality occurred durin J the fall season and the wind project was in an agricultural setting. A number of assumption must therefore be made in order to generate an estimate of potential mortality impacts. For the assessment, an over-arching assumption is that risk to Indiana bats is independent of S urvi val, ex OJ age, and that each Ind iana bat occurring in th Action at equal risk of collision. tudies of age and sex composition of bat fatalities at wind turbine have been inconclusi ve. but in general. it does not appear as if age or se. - j nfluences the risk of turbine caused mortality (see individual study references for derails regarding age and sex of bat fatalities).

Influence oj Migration - Under the assumption that Indiana bats are a migratory species (Gardner and Cook 2002' Laval and LaVal 1980; U FWS 2007; Winhold and Kurta 2006), risk to Indiana bats should be similar to other migratory species, arid it could be argued that any wind project built \ ithin Indiana bat range would pose a risk of mortality. However this assumption is not considered valid because the biology of Indiana bats is quite different from long distance migratory species, which are at apparent higher risk of collislon mortality from turbines (see Arnett et al. 2008; Johnson 2005), and only one Indiana bat fatality has been recorded despite more than 3,100 bat fatalities recorded at twelve studies ViitJIi.TJ Indiana bat range 1 where approximate! 67%,ofthe fatalities were of migratory species (Table 5).

I The. potential for impact to Indiana bats for eaeb of the wind projects that have been monitored that occur within indiana bai range is considered variable and largely unknown. For example, only two of the projects, Maple Ridge, NY ( rilwe1l2004) and Mount Storm, WV (Johnson et al. 20Q3b) were ccnsideredto be in a "mayeffect" siruarion based on 'the occurrence of consultation with the was determined that the Maple Ridge and Mount Storm projeots would not likely adversely affect Indiana bats because the potential for impacts was disccuntable. For unknown reasons, the other projects did not consult with USFWS despite potential concerns. For example, the Myersdale and Casselman projects in Somerset County, Pennsylvania and the Mountaineer project in Tucker Count West Virginia are located in counties with Priority 3 hlbernaeula, Buffalo Mountain is loeated in Anderson County, Tennessee which is roughly 10 miles north ofBlount ounty which has the only Priority I hibemacula in Tennessee, The Crescent Ridge project occurs in Bureau 'County, Illinois, which borders Lasalle County, containing a Priority 2 hibemaculum, to the west, The Pennsylvania project location is un-reported see Capouillez and, but tile distribution of I ndlana bat in Pennsylvania is widespread and 'it is unlikely the project was' greater than 100 miles from a known Limmer or winter location. Given that ~11e dispersal and migration patterns, and summer distribution of Indiana bats are largely unknown, all of these projects potentially "rna affect" Indiana bats. Also, it is believed that the known distribution of surnmerreccrds of Indiana bats is limiled by the lack of adequate surveys (U FW 2007).


Table 5 .. Bat species found at wind project monitoring studies 'within range of Indiana bat.


BMITNI # (%)

MO IW'"l 1)'1 I vVI CR LJl~1

#.(%) If (%1 # (%)

MR l1''Yl # ("Ia)

pee fP. I 1# (%)



44 (12.1) 222(6l.2 20 (5_5)

71 (19.6) 0(0.0) 3 (0.8) 0(,0.0) 2 (0.6) 1 (OJ)


2L14 (25.9) J 72 06.J) 6 (28.6)

'610S.9) 67(31.8) 30(14.2) 33(15.6)

[0(4.7) 10(4.1) 0(0.0) 0(0.0) 0(0.0)

46(31.1) 27( 18.2) 39(26.4) 17(11.5) 14(11.5)

4(2.7) .0(0.0)' O((}.O~ 1(0.7)

337(46.8) 83(11.5) 126«(7.5)

o 0.0) 1.06(14.7) 44 (6.1) o (OJ) 0(0.0) 24 (3.3)

1048 888 368 411 187 113


312 (33.2) 52 (5.5) 199 (21.1) 107 (11.4) 15 (1.6) 6 (0.6)

89 (18.8) 6 (28.6) 7 j (15.8) 8 (38.1)

68 t14.3) 0 (0.0)

41 (8.6) 0 (O.O)

19 (4.0) 0 (0.0)

1 (0.2) 0 (0.0)

23 (7.7) 9 (3.0)

18 (6.0) 2 (0.7) 0(0.0) 9 (3.0)

o (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)

6 (0.6) 9 (0.2) 1 (4.8)



33,0 28.0 J J.6 12.9 9_0 3.6 0'.3 0.1 1.6

Total 363 941 474 21 299 720 211 148 3177 100

LAC] = hoary bal (LasnmlS cinerells); LAnD = red bat (Lasiurus bo"ealis), LANO = silver-haired bat (La.u(JI7)'Cleri;; noctivago!1.l·), PISU = tri-colored bat (Pipi.slrel/w; SUbjl(lVIIS), MYLU = (Myoti.l· lucijgux), EPFU : big borwn bat (Ep!esiclls jiJ ells), MYSE = northern long-eared bar (Myori.I' seplellrriona{is), LASE = Seminole bat (L(lsilll'u~' .semiIlO/Us), '[)NBA = unidentified bat

Most research on Lndiana bats indicate that they would be classified as sedentary or regional migrants (Fleming and Eby 2005). In New York, based 011 study of more than J 00 tagged Indiana bats.dispersal movements were typically less than 60 km (~35 rnijand in some eases, only a few kilometers [TOm the hiberna ula (A Hicks, NY DEC, pers, comm.). While in some cases, Indiana bats have been documented traveling several hundred miles to winter hibernacula from summer breeding areas (Gardner and Cook 2002; Winhold and 1 una 2006), it is misleading to categorize this species with true migratory species such as hoary bat and red bat which may make annual migrations in excess of a thousand miles (Cryan et aJ. 2004). Under; the assumption that Indiana bats are migratory v e could expect risk LO behigh, similar to the migratory species, and that fatalities of the species would have been recorded.

While little is knev 11 about behavior during dispersal evidence from radio-tracking studies in New York and Penns lvania indicate that Indiana bats are capable of di persing at least 30~40 miles in one night (Sander, et al. 2001 Hicks 2004, Butchkoski and Turner 2006). It appears .as if Indj an a bat dispersal from hibernacula to summer habitat is fairly linear and short-term but in the fall is more disper ed and aried (USFWS 2007). Some studies ha e hown that Indiana bats may travel between 9 and 17 miles from a roost site to a hibemaculum cave where swarming is occurring. In addition; males and females display different dispersal behavior, Females appeal' to move quickly between the hibernacula and materna] colonies, while males will commonly remain near the hibemacula (USFWS 2007). While it is unknown, it is likely that Indiana bats dispersing 1.0 and from hibernacula follow more meandering routes thai rna be habitat related mid do not fl: at high altitudes, in highly linear paths, or Long distances (> 50 miles) non-stop (USFW ' 2007).

Known roost trees are located fr6mapproximately 025 to 3.5 mile south of'the project footprint. 111e Glen Park cave, where it is assumed the bats in all local maternal colonies


hibernate, i located southeast ofthe project. Ifbats fly In a straight line from he Glen Park cave to the maternal olorrs location they would not pass th 'ough the project area but the path would cross the proposed transmission line. Based on existing knowledge of bats there is very little risk of collision with the transmission line. The location of the turbines for the project do not create an obstruction or barrier between theknown hibemacula and maternal colony.

During the site studies. two bats. one adult female and one juvenile male, were radio-tracked for three anel five [lights respectively, to investigate nightly travel/commuting routes and the location of use, presumably foraging areas (SEl 2007a). The j uvenile male traveled longer distances than the adult female whose foraging areas were close to the roost area (Figure ] 1). Commuting routes for boib individuals were similar between nights and. both individuals visited the same foraging areas on repeated nights (8El 2007a). Neither indi idual commuted across the project area on a regular basis although foraging areas for the adult female 0 erlapped the project area in the vicinity of the proposed transmission line where it exits the project area to tlre south (SEl 2Q07a). The juvenile male commuted across the westernend of the project area to a foraging location in the village of Cape Vincent (SEl2007a). While the sample size is small, based 00 the results of the studies, the project, as designed does not intersect with known regular commuting routes for Indiana bats, No commuting routes for Indiana bats were discovered that regularly crossed the project area,

Comparison with Similar Species - For wind projects in the eastern 0., . within the range of Indiana bat that have been monitored, bat mortality estimates have ranged from approximately 5 to 4 per turbine per year (Table 3). The majority of bat fatalities at these projects ( ..... 57%) are of species in the Lasiurus genus. Overall approximately 67% of the fatalities have been of hoary bats, red bats, or sit er-haired bats; approximately 8.9% have been i'vJyoti species (Table 5).

Under Ole assumption that Indiana bat behavior and ecology is most similar to little brown bats or northern myotis, both of which are commonly recorded with Indiana bat and both of which have, been recorded as fats Hties at wind turbi nes it can be assumed that Indiana bats are al risk of collision-related mortality and could be at equal risk of collision related mortality as these other MYOf;S pecies. The percent of little brown bat fatalities feund at eastern wind projects has ranged from 0 to approximately 14% with th overall average approximately 8.6% (Table 5). While the total population size of little brown bats is unknown, it is expected that it is much larger than Indiana bats. The 2008 estimated population size for Indiana bats was.approximately 468 000 FWS 2008). J f little brown bats outnumber Indiana. bats 100 10 1 there would be roughly 47 million little brown bats within the range of Indiana bats. While- the validity of this assumption. is completely unknown, it is probably reasonable to expect that there are 47 million little brown bats. Under the assumptions that the two specie of bats are equally at risk of collision with turbines and collisions are proportional to abundance, it would be expected that approximately 1% of the Myotis fatalities and 0.1 % of all bat fatalities to date would be Indiana bats2. This estimate is near the estimate far Northern myotis based on the data collected at existing wind projects and for which fatalities have been found (Table 5). Under this assumption we would expect that somewhere between 2 and 8 Indiana bats would have been collected to

1 Note that this assumption lS based solely on propertien afoot's fatalities that have been Myotids for studies within the overall range of Indiana bats and is independent of hellier an. particular wind project is more likely to impact Indiana bats then another;


date at the wind projects studied without including the Maple Ridge r Mount tom projects for which the USFWS determined potential impaets to Indiana bats were discountable (Stilwell 2004, Johnson et al. Z003b). 011 the contrary, tbe evidence to date tends to support the findings that risk is unequal acros species (see abo e). which bas been documented at numerous studies (see Arnett et al. 2008; Johnson 2005),

Estimate Based on the Best Available Information - As indicated with the aboveexamples, estimating risk to ] ndiana bats from wind turbines is challenging, With no examples on which to base an impact assessm nt, the alternati e is to use the 1.TI.Ost relevant data available under a number of assumptions, The assumptions mayor may 11 1 be valid but can bea point of reference Jot' which the impact estimate is based. For e cample, the following scenario could be developed based on the best available infnrmation:

L ]f it is assumed that between 8 and 24 bats fatalities will occur per turbine per year the nearest regional bat fatality estimate, Jain et al. 2007, 2008, 20(9). then a total of between approximately 400 and L225 bat fatalities. could ccur LO the project area per _ ear if51 turbines are constructed.

2. 1J it isfurther assumed that approximatel Hl% of these would be MYOlis pecies [the approximate average of eastern ~ ind projects monitored within Indiana bat range is 8.9% (Table 5)] then between approximately 40 and 125 Myoti& fatalities would occur per year that would be spread among little brown bats, northern myotis, and Indiana bat - the three Myotis pecies documented in the project area (SEI 2007(:).

3. Under the conservative (over-estimate) assumptions that (1). Indiana bats comprise 5% of U1e' the SI. Lawrence project area [1 % of the bats captured at the site over a t 0 year period were Indiana bats ( EI 2007c, 2008)]; and (2 that all, Myotis species are equally susceptible to collision mortality [unknown but unlikely based on the available informa ion (see discussion above, Arnett et al. 2008' Johnson. 2005)]; of the 40- J 25 estimated Myotis fatalities, between appro imately 2 and 6 Indiana bats fatalities would occur in the project area annually.

Existing data indicates thai this would be an over estimate, or worse case scenario, as the Indiana bat population in the area is likely less than 5% of the total Myoti species population and the overall percent of Myotis from the total bat mortality may be less than 10%. Based on the results of the mist netting surveys fr0111 the- site (Sm 2007c) the ratio of little brown bats to Indiana bats was approximately 45:1 and Indiana bats represented approximately 2% of all Myotis captured during the general mist-netting survey in 2007. Over the two year period of 2007-2008 (SEt 2008) the ratio of little brown bats to Indiana bats was-even lower at approximately 74:1 and Indiana 'bats represented appro xi rnately ] % of all Myoliscaptured on site. If between 1-2% of the Myotis fatalities were of Indiana bats then between approximatel . 0.4 and 2.5 Indiana bat fatalities would occur in the project annually.

Most or the mortality studies at wind projects have shown that bat mortality is unequal across species. Following the same assumptions as above, that mortality would be equal to relative abundance, We would expect only 2% of the bat fatalities at the project to be of Lasiurus or Lasionycteris species and 40% to be of big-brown bats based all the capture rates (SEI 2007cJ. However Lasiurus and Laslanycteris are much more common fatalities (-57%, and ~1 0%


respectively) at eastern wind projects studied, while big brown bats have composed less than 3.5% of Ute fatalities (Table 5: Johnson 2005). Despite the low capture rate for Lasiurus species, they are expected to be the most common fatalities at SLW. based on the bestavailable information regarding bat fatalities at wind turbines (Arnett et al. 2008).

Supporting Information Indicating Likely LOll! Risk to Indiana Bats - There are numerou studies that support the findings that risk. Lo bats from wind turbines i unequal acr 55 pecies and seasons.

• At Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota. Analsat and mist net data indicated that there were relati ely large breeding populations of bats in close proximit (i.e., ithin 3.6 km [2.25 mile D to the wind project in June and early July when collision mortality was the lowest (Johnsonet al, 2003). Although most of these bats v ere big brown and little brown bats> smal J numbers of eastern red bats and silver-haired bats were captured during the stud' (Johnson et al, 2003).

• At Foote Creek Rim, Wyoming of 260 bats captured in mist nets in the vicinity of the wind project, 81 % were bats in the genus Myot! , with long-legged myotis (JvfYOlis vohm,) and little brown bat being the most prevalent, yet members of this genus comprised onlj 6 (5%) of the 123 turbine collision mortalities during the study (Gruver 2002). Hoary bats comprised 88,1% of the fatalities at Foote reek Rim. but species other than hoary bats were respon ible for 95% of all identifiable calls recorded at turbines with the Analrats (Gruver 2002~ Young et al, 2003).

• At a small wind project on Buffalo Mountain, Tennessee. t ,0 Myoti.~ species, lillie brown bat and northern myotis, were detected near the wind plant with AnaBats and mist nets, yet neither species was among the bat fatalities documented at the project (Fielder 2004; Nicholson 2003; see Table 4).

• At a Wisconsin wind project, even though large populations of big brown ahellv/yotis bats were present in the area, Duly six of 72 bat carcasses found underneath turbines were of these species; the remainder were compri ed of hoary, eastern red and silver-haired bats (Howe et a1.2002).

• The Nati 1131 Wind Technology Center (NWT ) near Boulder, Colorado has numerous wind turbines and meteorological (met) towers used for research purposes. During a • tudy at the facility, 2 t 6 bats representi ng up to six different species were detected using Analsats. The mean number of bats per survey was significantly higher on the NWT ' than on adjacent undeveloped "open space" areas, likely due to the presence of tree and rock outcrop' roost habitat 011 a portion of the NWTC (Schmidt et al. 2003). Despite the higher levels of bat activity on the N\VTC, no hat fatalities were found during standardized s arche of the turbines,

• Recent research at proposed wind power sites, has investigated trends in bat use at different elevations by elevating AnaBat detectors to heights neal' turbine rotor swept area. Much of thi research has shown that bat acti iry in general has been lower near the 50 m level above ground but also that the number of high-frequency bats recorded at the elevated po ilion is lower suggesting that the smaller bats such as Myotis pecies tend to


forage and fly closer to ground level than low-frequency bats (Arnett etal, 2006' Redell et loll. 2006).

• One of [he proposed hypotheses for wh bat are expo ed to turbines and collision (or non-collision trauma) impacts occur is curiosity, or that the bats are curious and investigate the turbines. Existing data does not support thi theory because f apparent unequal risk across species; or the existing data supports the theory that bats are unequal! curious. If Indiana bats fall within the realm of curious bats. similar to the bat showing the highest impa ts, it is xpected that many Indiana bats would have been disco ered to date as v v inc! turbine fatalities.

Results of these studies indicate that populations of breeding bats near wind projects are not highly susceptible [0 turbine collision and that impacts to ummer breeding resident species such as little brown bats, big brown bats, northern rnyotis, and Indiana bats found ill the SL W study area are expected to be low. Consistent results among all these studie shov that bat mortality at wind proj ectsi s unequal across species. that relative ab undanee 0 f bats is not a good predi ctor of hal mortalit , and that resident bats in' and around wind projects do not appear to be affected as greatl as long distance migrant species. Based on this information and the site specific survey data, 1t is unlike! that mortality of Indiana bats at the LW project will be equal to their abundance and an annual fatality estimate of between 0.4 and 2.5 individuals would be considered a worse-case scenario.

Determining tile significance of this level of mortality OD a population requires an understanding of population demographics and in particular annual survival or mortality rates. Annual survival estimates -for Indiana bats, both adults and juveniles are basically unknown (USFWS 2007). Research from banding studies during tlu 1970's suggested that adult mortalit during the first 10 years varied fromapproximateiy 24-33% and dropped off dramatically after W years (Humphrey and ope 1977}. There is less informati n available on juvenile urvival with one study suggesting it was less dian adult mortality at only 8% (Humphrey et al, 1997), which is probably unlikely. Th loss of 2.4 individuals from the local maternal COlOR. represents an approximate 5% mortality rate! assuming the maternal colony is approximately 50 individuals in size. Provided that annual.mortality of the Indiana bats potentially affected is from 24-33%, this 5% estimate is well within the range of variation in annual mortality speculated for Indiana bats.

DIsturbance and/or Displacement

Construction of the project could create short-term (during construction) disturbances that rna. affect Indiana bats in the Action Area. In addition, operation of the wind project (actual turning turbines) rna create disturbances that could affect In Iiana bats in the area. IF roosting Indiana bats or indi idual flying through their horne range are disturbed, displaced or alter movement pattern due to construction activities or the operation of wind turbines. then the potential exist tor harassmentor harrrr' impacts to OCCUI.

3 The USfWS defines "harass' as "actions that create the likelihood of injury to listed species to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavior patterns which include, bin are not limited to, breeding, feeding Or sheltering" and "harm" as "significant habitat modification or degradatlen that results in death or injury to listed species by


Large scale construction projects 'create noise. dust, and vibration type effects that it is believed may result in disturbance to individual animals. Quantifying noise. dust, and vibration effects from wind project construction is challenging, In particular quantifying Of measuring such effects on small cryptic animals such as bats is difficult at best. In general, turbine erection involves stationary 'and very slow movingequipment (e.g .• cranes) that do not create large or chronic noise. dust, or vibration disturbances, Road cc nstruction and trenching for underground cables involve earth grading, disturbance, and heavy machinery movement which have a greater potential for generating noise, dust, and vibrations. These disturbance are linear by design and impacts rno e across the landscape as the infrastructure is built. Noise, dust and vibration impact are variable, transient, and temporary in nature as the construction changes Iocarioru and are influenced by environmental conditions at-any given time or location. Provided a roost tree is located adjacent to these proje t facilities it auld be subject to temporary noise dust and vibration disturbance from construction. BMPs are designed to minimize potential construction impacts such as dust and erosion but little can be done to minimize noise and vibrations from this equipment 10 general, however, given the temporary and variable nature of these types of impacts. and behavioral responses of wildlife to disturbance, they are considered immeasurable,

Very little forest habitat (-2.5 acres) will be cur down for the project and all clearing activity is currently planned for the winter or earl spring season preceding construction, when Indiana bat would not be in the project area. It is unlikely that forest clearing would result LIl disturbance effects. In several studies Indiana bats have .displayed orne resilience to disturbance type impacts. Timber harvest activities did not discourage Indiana bats from continuing to forage in a harvested area in Illinois (Gardner et al. 1991). 10 one case where a tree used b a maternal colony of Indiana bats was cut down, the bats moved 10 another tree (Cope et al. 1974). In the original Indiana Bat Recovery Plan (U FWS 1999), the USPWS concluded that Indiana bat may be a mote adaptable species than originally thought' ben ,it was listed as an endangered species. According to Miller e[ al, (2002), Indiana bats are adaptable to a wide variety of habitat conditions and are able to sustain maternity colonies despite considerable man-made or naturally causedchanges in their environment. Maternitycolonies have been found .along the edge of woodlots and active agricultural fields, in heavil logged and heavily grazed open woodlots. in pastures, and even in an active pig-lot (see Brack et al. 2(02). Core use areas in a Kentucky study were typified by the presence of stands of older forest with areas of disturbance that vere either natural (e.g., storm damage) or man-made (e.g, logging activities) (Gumbert et al, 2002).

Currently, rhe known maternal colony lies outside the project area to the south of the area proposed for turbines (Figure 12). Bats occupying this maternal colony could be subject to displacement r altered movement patterns north of the colon where construction and the wind projectwill occur. While it is unknown whether Indiana bats are disturbed enough by turbines to be displaced from their home range, there is ample evidence (hat other bat species are not disturbed or displaced by turbines. Collision mortality of bats at wind turbines indicates that at least some specie of bars during some times of year entnre close enough to turbines for collisions or trauma to occur.

significantly impairing beha ioral patterns such as breeding, feeding. or sheltering". See addi ional discu sian below under Determination.


Based on existing information from studies of bats in wind projects it appears as if at least some bats can easily fly around turbines and do not appear to b displaced by them. At Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota, based on sampling bat activity at turbines with AnaBats, it was estimated that a minimum of 96.102 ba I passes occurred at turbines over the 2-year: study and there was no relationship between bat activity at turbines and the number of bat fatalities (Johnson et al, 2003). Similarly, at the Foote Creek Rim, Wyoming wind project, data from AnaBat detectors indicated 2.6 bat pa ses per turbine per night during the summer and. fall ( ruver 2002), and 81 the Buffalo Mountain, Tennessee wind plant, bat activity as measured with AnaBais at turbines Was not correlated with collision mortality (Nicholson 200!2). The study at the NWTC documented 216 bat detections in the research center and many of these bats were observed foraging around the experimental turbines (. chmidt et al, 2003). During the intensi e studies of the Mountaineer and Myer dale wind projects in the fall 2004 field per onnel routinely observed bats emerging at dusk and foraging in the clearings around turbines supporting the hypothesis that at least some bats occupying forests near the turbines were local residents (Arnett el at 2005). Hom et al. (2008) documented numerous bats flying close to turbines and even within the rotor wept area indicating that turbines do not create a disturban e trong enough. to cause displacement. These studies have all shown that bats can and do fly around turbines and do not appear to be subject to sub tantial disturbance or displacement effects.


While the causes of bat fatalities at wind turbines are still unknown. a number of hypotheses have belen presented including that turbines provide anattraction to bats either acoustically, visually, or due to increase resources (e.g., insects associated with the turbines (see Arnett et al. 2005 f r a summary). If this hypothesis IS true or partially valid, then wind turbines are unlikely to have a displacement or disturbance impact an bats.

A few studies have attempted to address behavior of bats around turbines. In Wisconsin, Puzen (2002) collected 26 hours of ideo 0.1 turbine using an infrared camera. Only one bat was captured on video moving past the turbine and this individual was echolocatingat a normal rate and did not appear disturbed by, or attracted 10, the turbine. Durinz the studies at the Mountaineer and Myersdale projects in 2004, infrared video cameras were used 10 monitor bat aciivie around turbines (Hom et al, 2008). During approximately 530 burs of ideotape over 17 nights. images of over 1800 bats were recorded flying around tu rbines, From the analysis of the

ideo, it appeared as if the majority of the bat observations were of bat imply foraging or Hying through the field of view, although there were marty instances recorded of bats taking avoidance action away from turbine blades and several recordings of actual collisions (Hom et al. 2008,). The study documented numerous bats flying close to turbines and e en within th rotor swept area indicating that turbines do not create a disturbance strong enough to cause displacement (Arnell et al, 2005' Horn et 0.1. 2008).

In general. " hile disturbance related effects from construction or operation of the wind proj Cl are conceivable, results of other studies appear to indicate rhm bats are not significantly disturbed b. wind. turbines. As with fatality impacts, while the evidence sugg sts little disturbance effect on bats in general, there is no information specific to Indiana bats. Under the assumption that Indiana bats are most similar to little brown bats in behavior and ecology, it is belie ed, however, Lhat wind turbines would not have a disturbance or displacement effect on Indiana bats and the L W project will not affect J ndiana bats through disturbance or displacement. In addition, construction related disturbance will be temporary (during a one year period) and some of the construction disturbance will fall. outside the period 'When Indiana bats are expected in the proje t area.

Indirect Effects

Indirect effects from lhe project may include loss of habitat. both long and short tenn and change in the regional species distribution patterns .if the project results in abandonment or loss of nearby maternal c lonie . N known roost trees will be cut down for the project. There iU be some encroachment by the proj ect transmission line in a known foraging area but 00 roads or turbines will impact known foraging areas.

Loss of Habitat

Currently, the primary land use of the project area is agriculture, in. the form of pasture/hay and cropland (Figure 6). Land use in the spring/summer home range i more variable and encompasses more developed areas including the village of Cape Vincent, Vegetation of the project is a mosaic of primarily open pasture/hay fields, cropland, with smaller amounts of


scattered deciduous tree \ oodlots, shrub-scrub, and developed areas, Approximately 49% of the land cover in the spring/summer home range is pasture/hay fields cropland. or grassland and 13.2%_ is forest or woody wetland (Table 1).

Existing land use I' land cover data (Figure 6) was used as an index to habitat types in the spring/summer home range and for estimating habitat impacts. To calculate potential habitat impacts, the following project de ign guidelines were applied to the mapped project footprint. The total acres of habi at tyr es ithin the buffers were then calculated using Arc View ensoftware.


• The permanent footprint fOT new project roads will be t 7 feet, top-width plus shoulder slopes.

• The temporary construction area for roads will be a 39-foD1 wide corridor centered ou the proposed road centerline; l l-foot buffer on either side,

• Total permanent area of disturbance for roads will be approximate] 30.1 acres' in addition total temporary disturbance for roads will be approximately 62.8 acres.


• TIle permanent footprint for each turbine will be a maximum of 30-foot diameter gravel pad. The turbine tower has a l-l-foot diameter radius and will be centered in the gravel pad.

• The temporary construct jon area (lay-down area) around each turbine will be a maximum of300-foot in diameter, 150-foot radius from turbine.Iocarion,

• Total permanent area f disturbance for turbines will be approximately 6,7 acres WIDell includes the crane pad (see below); total temporary disturbance for turbines will be approximately 82.5 acres.

Crane Pad

• Each turbine will have a 50 by 100 feet crane pad at the end of the turbine access road, 'or turbine at the end of an access road tb crane pad will be incorporated into the actual access road, For turbines adjacent to an access road the cane pad wili sit between the road and the turbine pad,

Underground Collector Lines

• The collector line corridor wi.ll be 12 feet wide (6-fo01 radius on center line). An additional 6 feet of width was applied for each additional circuit in areas where multiple circuits were parallel.

Met Towers

• There will be tOUI permanent met rowers in the proj eet each of which will impact less than 0.1 acre.


Substation and O&M Facilities

• The permanent footprint was based on the mapped proposal for these facilities (see Figure 2).

• The temporary construction area includes a. IOO-foot radiu area mOUD each facilit .

Overhead Transmission Line

• The permanent footprint for th ov rhead Iran mission line will be appro .imately 160 single wooden poles up to 3 feel in diameter. Additional permanent impacts for the transmis ion line will involve some hand clean ng of trees and vegetation in areas where trees rna. interfere with the transmission line.

• The temporary construction acce right-of-way will be a lOO,.foot wide corridor centered on the transmission line. No ground or egetation clearing will be required for the transmission line construction, The access corridor is imply for equipment to set the poles and install the line and will be primarily along an old railroad bed where a utility water line is located.

Whi Ie the guidelines applied for calculating impacts represent a reasonable scenario based on the proposal, they result in an overestimate of true impact. Lt1 some cases. for example, a location where collector lines are adjacent to the access roads, the temporary impact area is within the impact area of the road and does 110t represent new di turbances. In addition, where facilities are near forested area-s, (he estimate of the temporary disturbance buffer may extend into the forest but these areas will b avoided and not disturbed by onstructlon zoo S to the extent possible.

Based' - n the land use/land cover mapping the proposed development will result in the permanent loss of approximatelj 45.2 acres of agricultural lands (row crops, field crops, or pastureland/hay fields) and approximately O~8 acres of wooded/forest lands due 10 the project access roads, turbines, and substati on facili ties (see Figure 2 > Table 1). Approximately J 9'1. 8 acres of agricultural land will also be temporarily impacted for construction (Table 1). 1n addition, some forest cutting would occur along the proposed transmission line tight-of-way for maintenance reasons to prevent d amage to the Lines and areas under the line would be rnaintai ned as early successional plant communities. The forest clearing along the transmission line route w-ill be primarily along the edge of the proposed route (an abandoned railroad right-of-way) along the S uthem boundary of the Project area (see Figure 2). Approximately 0.7 mile of the transmission line travels through forested and successional forest areas along the southern edge of the project. Within this area, same 'trees win be cleared. Pr vided a 20 foot buffer along therailroadright-of-way is cleared, approximately 1.7 acres of deciduous forest habitat would be, lost for the transmission line. The exi-sting railroad right-of-way passes through a forest patch where t ost trees were located during the site surveys (see Figures 10 and J 1) and that was utilized as a foraging area (see SEI 2007a). No known roost trees will be cut for the transmission line corridor. No Indiana bats were aptured during netting along this right-of-way (see Figure 10) but it is expected that the utilize the existing corridor and edge- habitat for foraging (see Figure 11). TIle transrnissi n line di turbance area is located approximatel 200 IDeteIS from the nearest known roost tree (see Figure 12). While some trees will be cut along the edge of the right-of-way the transmission line is unlikely to further fragment the tore t patch above existing condlrions as an' existing right-of-way will be used as opposed to creating a new right-ot-way.


Indiana bats are typically associated with mature forest or forested wetland habitats. Based on the site specific surveys, the di itribution of Indiana bats in the project area is primarilyassociated with the larger forested wetland tracts that are just to the south of the site. The forest in which the maternal colony that was located during the site surveys will not be directly affected b the project The loss of 2.5 a res f wooded or forest habitat (0.8 acres in the project and 1.7 acres along the- transmission line) represents a loss of <0.1,% of the forest habitat within the spring/summer home range based on land use/land cover data (NAIP 2001).

Studies of habitat use have been variable but generally indicate that Indiana bats tend to forage ill mixed forested and open areas or along forest margins. In a study b Murray and Kurta (2004) radio-tracked aduli female Indiana bats did not fly over open fields but traveled along wooded corridors, even when this behavior increased commuting distance by greater than 50%. However, Sparks et al. (2005) found that at a site in Indiana, Indiana bats spent nearf 50% of the lime foraging over agricultural fields, although bats still moved along riparian corridors. Night time rno ement and habitat lise of Indiana bats in, the project area varied between the adult female and juvenile male but confirmed that Indiana bats could fly over or use nen-forested habitats (SEI 2007a). The los of 45.2 acres ofagricultural or grassland represents a loss of less than 1.0% of the agricultural land in the project area.

Effects on Regional Distribution

In the unlikely event that other impacts such as direct mortalit or indirect displacement of Indiana bats due to the project are substantial enough, the pr ject could indirectly affect the summer distribution of Indiana bat ill Jeffe-rson County by causing abandonment or movement of the known, maternal colony located south of the project area. Based on the i nformati OIl presented above, disturbance and. displacement effects are not expected LO be great enough to cause abandonment 'Of the maternal colony. Indiana bats regularly move between roost trees and a maternal colony may .occupy numerous trees (Miller et 211. 2002; SET 2007b; USFWS 2007). Studies have shown that Indiana bats typically switch roosts every 2-4 days (Gumbert at al. 2002; Kurta et al, 2002) and it is believed roost switching evolved in Indiana bats because suitable roost trees are ephemeral and can become unusable quickly if they are toppled by wind lose slabs of bark. or otherwise destroyed (Kurta et al, 2002). During the site specific studies 12 different roost trees in the v coded area of the maternal colony were located through radio tracking (SEl 2007b). In the vent rhatany given roost tree is subje l to disturbance, typical behavior of Indiana bats would be to relocate. Potential disturbance from project construction or operation is not expected to affect indiana bat distribution in Jefferson County. New York.

A more plausible scenario that could affect Indiana bat distribution would be if mortality due to the wind project was substantial enough to cause reduced viability of the maternal colony or simply eliminate all the colony individuals. The size of the maternal colony is unknown but at least 10 adult lndiana bats W,ere captured in the area during the general mist netting survey or during netting at the colony (SEI 2007b). Most documented maternity colonies contain 100 or fewer females (Harvey 2002). VAder the assumption that the maternal colony near the project is average in size, it would be assumed that the local population would be 50~60 Indiana bats. This appears to be a valid assumption ba.sed on the results of the site studies. Ifit is further assume-d thai tills colony .is stable in size (neither increasing nor .decreasing in numbers) then annual


recruitment to the colony is equal to natural deaths or emigration of colony members, Provided the orse case scenario of 0-2 Indiana bat mortalities a year occur from the project. then over a 20-30 year period the mortality from the wind project would exceed the number of colony members, Under this scenario the distribution of Indiana bat maternal colonies in Jefferson County would change by the loss of the CO\OI1)'.

Research regarding summer maternal colonies of Indiana bats and in particular the natural longevity of acolorry, is limited. Members of a maternity colony of Indiana bats typically roost in 10-20 trees each summer, with individuals moving. roost trees every few days and some colonies using trees that are 8..:9 Ion (-5 miles) apart (Callahan et al. 1997; Kurta 2004; Kurta el al. 1996; Kurta et al. 2002). Benefits for changing roosts likely include response to disturbance, predator avoidance, minimizing commuting distance to foraging areas reduction in ectoparasites thermoregulation, or' avoidance of unfavorable mieroclimatic conditions (lewis 1993). Kurta et al. ((996) suggest that pregnant females may move roosts or change general location more often to assess the condition of roost trees following hibernation, while lactating female switch less often since they have a juvenile bat already and know the general condition of favored roost trees. In a study of banded bats in Michigan 41 % of the adul L females were recaptured in subsequent years but not necessarily in the same location as the original capture (Kurta and Murray 2002)_ The mean distance from the location of original capture to the closest site of recapture \ as L9 ± 0.7 kmand ranged from 0,7 to 7.2 km. niy five bats were recaptured at the site of initial capture (Kurta and MLIITay 2002). Foul' bats banded at the same maternity colony in Michigan were later found hibernating in four different caves in Indiana and Kentucky, approximately 460 ± 28 krn from their summer roost sites, demonstrating that not all members of a maternity colony originate from the same hihernaculum and that there is likel emigration between maternal colonies (Kurta and Murray 2002; USFWS 2007).

These studies suggest that materna] colonies may not necessarily remain in the same location for e, tended periods and that Indiana bat summer roost areas are somewhat dynamic. However other studies have shown that Indiana bats di play some site fidelity as long as conditions remain suitable. Roost trees, though ephemeral in nature, may be occupied by a colony for a number of years until the~ are no longer available or suitable. Roost tree reoccupation of 2 to 6 years has been documented in a number of studies (Barclay and Kurta 2007~ U FWS 2007). Although the actual roost trees may change, individual will reuse the general area; for example the focal roosting area of ODe CO I ony of Indiana bats .graduall y moved 2 km avera 3 ~ year period after the primary roost tree fell (Kurta et al. 2002), Colonies of Indiana bats also appear to be loyal to general foraging areas within and between years (Sparks et a], 2004). Members of a maternal colony in Michigan consistently u ed a wooded fence-line a, a Bight corridor over a 9~year period (Willhold et aI. 2005).

In general, whil some studies have shown that lndiana bats will use the arne roost trees and maternalcolony areas in sequential .. ears) roost tree s .. itching is common, ale trees themselves are ephemeral in nature. and the primary materna] roosts may vary from year to year. The maternal colony located neal" the SL W Project is within a much larger forest patch that likely has numerous suitable roost trees; and one roost tree used by at least one indi vidual was 10 aied approximately 3.5 miles to the southeast of the initial concentration of rcost trees located (Figure 12; SEl 2007b)J The total longevity of the maternal colon in the area is basically unknown;


however: based on the available information it would be- expected that Indiana bats would continue to use the larger forest area, bU:1 the actual roost trees discovered during the tudies may not be used over the long term. While direct impacts from turbines may create a SOUTce of mortality that would eventually lead to the loss of the maternal colony, it could also be lost (moved) under natural circumstancesif the area of roost trees becomes less suitable than current conditions. 0 erall, Indiana bats are expected to continue to use the Cape Vincent peninsula area even though maternal roosts located in this area may move over timewith or without the proposed wind project.

Other Effects

The proposed LW Project, if constructed, will likelj pre lude or greatly minimize additional land development within the project area. Wind projects typically allow landowners to maintain the historic land use of an area (e.g., farming, ranching) by providing supplemental inc-ome from leases. In addition constraints on wind turbine locations such as set-backs from property boundaries, .residences, business, schools, and roads, limit the ability of additional developments such as housing subdivisions. The ape Vincent area. has developed into a recreational and second borne area for many non-localresid nts, According to U.S. Census Bureau data there was an increase in housing development i_TI Cape Vincent Township b;' approximately 31% in the 19905 (USeB 2000). Housing strucrures built in Cape Vincent Township have increased since the 19408' howe er, the greatest inereas has been since 2000 (Table 6). Property in 'the area is under pres sure for sale and development leading to increase human use and alteration of land use in areas currentl in natural states or managedfor agriculture. The SLW Project will essentially protect the areas within the project boundaries in the current state with Limited additional change due to development, with the indirect outcome of maintenauce of indiana bat habitat in the form of the mixed forest patches interspersed with agriculture fields scrub shrub areas, wetlands and pasture/hay fields. This mosaic pro ides foraging and roosting habitat for Indiana bats that will be maintained for the life of the project with les risk of loss to future hou ing developraent or encroachment by increased number of humans and their associated impacts. Essentially, the project will maintain the rural nature of the area over future conditions which would likely be increased housing and development and decreased open space and natural habitats, unless the current {rend in development is reversed.

Table 6. Housing Characteristic, Cape Vincent Town, Jefferson County New YOJ'k.

Year Structure Built Number Percent
2001-2008 658 23
1990-2000 627 22
1980-1989 479 18
1970-1979 489 17
1960-1969 256 9
1950-1959 ~180 6
1940-1949 -170 6
Total 2201 100 55

Cumulative Effects

Cumulative effects under the ESA are effects of future non-federal .aotions that are reasonabl certain to occur within the Action Area in the foreseeable future, These type of actions include:

• continued population growth, particularly in Cape Vincent Township;

• new housing developments and subdlvisions to accommodate population growth;

• 'increased infra tructure TOadS, utilities) to accommodate new developments;

• increased gravel/materials mining to accommodate development and infrastructure;

• increased energ development including other wind projects without a federal nexus'

• logging of state and private forests;

• future agriculture practices on pri ate land; and

• unknown stochastic events such as disease and climate change.

The magnitude of urnulative effects on Indiana bats is difficult to measure. While cumulative effects to Indiana bats may be occurring due to incre-ased growth and development in the area, substantial catastr phic e ents .such a white nose syndrome (WNS)are likely to have greater cumulative effects 011 Indiana bats than the Project itself or continued human encroachment on Indiana bat habitat. White nose syndrome is a poorly understood ailment related to the death of thousands of bats in the northeastemLl.S, Loss of winter fat stores. pneumonia, and the disruption ef hibernation and feeding cycles are associated with the death of infected bat. The disease is proving catastrophic to infected bat populations with mortality rates exceeding 90% over two years for infected caves.

The proposed project will not contribute to population growth and associated development activities such as new housing subdi isions. but it is designed to accommodate future power needs associated with growth and development. Jefferson County, including Cape Vincent Township, i undergoing noticeable population grOWU1. Appro imaiely 23% of the total number of housing structures built in Cape Vincent Township since 1940 have been between 2001 and 2008 (Table 6). A number of scattered rural residential horne sites and SUbdivisions have been established in Cape Vincent Township and in particular along the coastal regions of Lake Ontario. TI1e ity f Watertown, approximately 20 miles to the southeast within the falU"'rln'ter home range bas also experienced substantial growth over the past decade nece-ssitating infrastructure upgrades along the 1-8 I corridor between Watertown and Glen Park. Developments have the effect of reducing agricultural land and forests and activities associated with those landscapes such as farming, li estock production. and logging. These types of activities may contribute cumulative effects to Indiana bats by reducing suitable summer habitat, creating more disturbances, reducing foraging and secluded sheltering/roosting opportunities. and creating more collision hazards. Agriculture in Jefferson County has likely bene filed Indiana bats by providing the habitat mosaic suitable for Indiana bat occurrence. Reduction of agriculture, lore ts, and open rural space in Jefferson County 'due to housing, subdivisions and other developme-nt reduces the amount of suitable habitat for Indiana bats.

Due to the wind nature of Jefferson County and the Cape Vincent peninsula, at least two additional wind projects have been proposed for the region: the Cape Vincent wind project and the Horse reek wind project and one other Wolfe Island, Canada, is currently operational. The


propo ed Cape Vincent project would be located due south of SL W and the proposed Horse reek Project approximately ix mile southeast of SLW. The Wolfe Island. Canada project is located approximately two miles northeast of SL\V. With the exception of Wolfe Island, similar baseline studies includina mist-net urvevs for Indiana bats ha e occurred at these sites and have

~ ..

documented Indiana bat occurrence throughout the region see Kerns et al. 2007b' Woodlot

Alternatives 2006). As with SL W and the abundance of wetland find waters of the U.S. in the Cape Vincent region it is unlikely that either of these projects could be constru ted without requiring a permit from the AeOn, for potential impacts to ater resources. This federal permit requirement would require that these projects under-go similar review under the ESA regarding potential impacts t Indiana bats. By definition, these projects ould 110t be included in the cumulativ impacts analysis for SL W. Similarly additional projects in the region such as highway construction under federal jurisdiction .. and de elopment on Fort Drum would each necessitate re iev under Section 7 of the ESA.


The U FWS places priority on con ervation measures that b nefit the listed species population potentially affected by any gi en project, The following measures are focused on benefiting the Indiana bats within the Action Area and those within the Glen Park cave population.

he potential direct impacts to Indiana bats from the St. Lawr nee windpower project are:

• potential mortality at injury from collision with or barotrauma from turbines blades- and

• potential harm from harassment due to construction or project operation.

The potential indirect impacts from the wind project are:

• loss and/or fragmentation of habitat either through los. of roosting or foraging areas 01' reduced use around the wind project; and

• lQSS of the nearby maternal colony over the long term, if direct impacts are substantial enough to cause- a decline in local Indiana bat numbers.

The potential cumulative impact from the project coupled with other' future pri ate developments in the region is:

• loss of habitat, and p tentially maternal colonies in the Cape Vincent peninsula region if direct and indirect impacts from all proposed projects/actions cause a decline in regional Indiana bat numb rs.

Conservation measures occur at four stages ofproject development: (1) project planning stage; (2) project design and facilities siting stage' (3 construction stage; and (4) operations and maintenance stage. The measures are primaril designed to address the direc impacts but in so doing, also address potential indirect and cumulative impacts. For example habitat protection measures have multiple benefits such as providing and preserving safe refuge fOT individuals, preserving resources such as roost trees and maternal colonies subject to other impacts, and


improving. survival, as well as compensating for loss of habitat to the Project and cumulative impact sources,

Project Planning

Thedesign of the 8L W wind project presented in the DE1S (an earlier project design iteration) included up to 96 turbines. During the design iterations, the project was reduced in scale to the rninimum veconemlcally viable size, approximately 76.5MW - 51 turbines. This design e'ffectivet rninirnizesdi rect impact risk through fewer turbines.

The typical design of a wind project is an iterative process that lakes into consideration a number of factors including the wind resource zoning, land owner concerns, and environmental resources. During project development, when it was realized that Indiana bats may oceup the site. constraints on the project design were included to minimize impacts to deciduous forest and wetlands to the maximum extent possible. The design of the wind project presented in the DEIS included up to approximately 14 acres of forest impact The current design would result in approximately 2.5 acres of deciduous forest Impact, No turbines will be located in forested habitat and impacts to forests are from acee s roads and th transmission line. In addition, impacts to wetlands ",'fill be minor and involved crossing of waters with roads and collector lines (Appendix B).

Conservation Easement - During the site SUI eys, a maternal colony for Indiana bats \ a discovered on property immediately south of the project area (see Figure 12). Clusters of roost trees were in two locations within the habitat patch containing the maternal colony. TIle eastern portion of the block of forest with the most roost trees will be protected for the life of the SLW project through a conservation easement with the land owner t . insure thai there are no future impacts to the forest habitat (Figure 13). The conservation easement would include roughly 56 acres in the eastern portion of the forest block in which the primary duster of roost trees occurred (Figure 13). This parcel is within the huger contiguous block of forest containing the maternal colony and has the same characteristics in terms of stand age and tree species, The parcel is also immediately adjacent to a capture rite for Indiana bats during the site studies (see Figure 10). The conserv aii 0'0 easement would insure that the site is excluded from further deve1 pment pressure or tree cutting for th Ii fe of the wind project and would be implemented once the project permits are obtained and prior to construction or impacts to any wetlands from the project.


This figur has been removed a it contain sensitive information.

It bas been provided to the Planning Board, USFWS and DEC for rbeir review.

Figure] 3. Conservation easement parcels for the SL W project.

Project Design and Facilities Siting

The SLW Project has been designed to avoid cutting deciduous forest habitat to the maximum extent feasible. The USFWS Draft Guidelines for wind power projects recommend placing turbines in agriculture environments (U, FW 2003b). The SLW Project was designed with the vast majority of the infrastrucrnre located inagricultural field (hay fields, crops). Impacts to wetlands will be min r, are avoided to the maximum extent practical and only involve eros ing of waters with roads and collector lines (Appendix B). The current design would result in approximately 2.5 acres of deciduous forest impact. No turbines will be located in forested habitat and impacts to forests are from access roads and the transmi ion line. No known roost trees will be cut for the proj eet.

The SL W Project design was also used to mnunnze exp-osure by placing all turbines at approximately ~ mile distance, or greater, to identified roost trees (see Figure 12 . The minimum effective setback distance from a bat roo t tree is unknox n, but given the dynamic nature of the resource, the effecti ve setbaok distance will narurall vary by year 'as the core roo 1 areas and roost trees change,


Project Construction

To avoid potential take OrIOO ling Indiana bats, all tree clearing will occur between October 1 and April 15 when Indiana bats are not expected to be within the spring/summer horne range or on site.

To minimize potential harmor harassment impacts, no night time construction that could impact bats will occur on the project and lighting will be restricted to safety lighting required around hazardous equipment or materials as required by Jaw.

Project Operation and Maintenance Adaptive Management Pr gram

Adaptive management is an iterative process lhat promotes flexible decision making adjusted in the face of uncertainties as outcomes from management actions or project operations become better understood. An adaptive management plan will be integrated into the proposed decisionframework regarding mitigating impacts [0 Indiana bat at the SL W Project. Post construction monitoring studies will b-e designed to test hypotheses related to Project operational management and activities to determine their effectiveness in avoiding and minimizing impacts.

Basic Framework

Adaptive management a it relates to wind projects is a succession of scientificall based management actions that use research and monitoring to test hypotheses related to project management, and then appl the resulting informaticn to adjust management. Under a passive adapti ve m anagement s y stern, the management acti on most likely to be successful in achievi ng the desired outcome is implemented. Monitoring and evaluation then, lead to adjustments (alternatives) as necessary. Under an active adaptive management system, monitoring and evaluation of several alternatives (hypotheses) helps in deciding which alternative is the rno t effective in meeting objectives and adjustments to the next round of management decisions are made lased on the results.

The basic framework of an adaptive management program includes distinct phases that may repeat themselves as the program proceeds:

(1) Planning/Assessment - The planning phase will be initiated during consultation with' the USFWS- and includes evaluation of existing data. and information, evaluating ite specific data and results as they are acquired, defining the problems/uncertainties that will be addressed, deciding on the management actions that will, be evaluated, and determining the scope of the rnoaitorlng program. The planning phase invol es engagement, cooperation, and coordination between SLW and the involved agencies (NYSDEC, USFWS ACOE) and will be repeated as necessary for the duration of the monitoring.

(2) Design - 'The focus of the design phase will be development of specific avoidance! mlnimization uneasures, a project monitoring program with distinct objectives for determining scope of impacts, or lack thereof, to Indiana bat in the Action Area, and the


effectiveness of turbine operation management In avoiding/minimizing impacts (see Proposed Adaptive Management Plan below).

(3) Implementation - The implementation pha e includes implementing the actual, avoidance/minimization measures and research and monitoring studi 5. within the Action Area.

(4) Evaluation - Currently the le el of impact on Indiana bats from the proposed project is unknown. The research and monitoring phase will occur for a minimum 3~year period and will be designed to provide data and information on the circumstances and conditions under which impacts to Indiana bats from the project occur and the effect of avoidance/minimization measures on those impacts, The evaluation phase will include theroughl: evaluating results of the implementation phase for developing new measures to implement in all effort to avoid/minimize tbeimpacts to Indiana bats. In the event that there are no impacts to Indiana bats after the 3-year monitoring period. and no changes to the project management are suggested the focus of the research and monitoring will change to compliance monitoring for the incidental take permit (s Monitoring below).

The- adaptive management program is an iterative process that responds to information and data. If uncertainty Is eliminated over management actions then the appropriate managem 01 is implemented for the life of the project. If uncertainty remains after the initial evaluation, the proces. is repeated until uncertainty over management is reduced to an acceptable level.

Proposed Adaptive Management Plan

While bat fatalities have been recorded <11 wind facilities, there is uncertainty associated with the effects of wind projects 0J.1 Indiana bats, and bat populations in general To date me t monitoring studies have shown that the majority of fatalities are non-hibernating migratory species. Results from monitoring studies have shown fatalities of resident species to be less common and highly ariable (see Table 5). Because only one Indiana bat fatality ]'85 been recorded, very little is known about the circumstance and conditions around potential Indiana bats fatalities. However, under the set of assumptions outlined herein, 0-3 Indiana bats may be killed. Conseq uently, potentia! measures to avoid/minimize impacts to Indiana bats are also unknown but some assumptions can be made that would presumably minimize risk and potential for impacts such as minimizing placement of turbines in known foraging areas or adjacent to woodlots that contain roost trees, Options such as turbine management could be used to minimize risk under the assumption that Indiana bats would encounter a turbine and be at risk of fatalities.

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of the adaptive management plan is to determine means by which to avoid take of Indiana bats. The primary objectives to meet tbis goal are to:

1. determine the level of Indiana bat mortali ty and identify the circumstances and conditions under which fatalities of Indiana bats occur; and


1. develop a set of project management actions (alternatives) that when implemented provide effective means by which the impacts can be reduced offset, or eliminated, thus avoiding/minimizing potential impacts.

An effective adaptive management program will provide information directly related to the uncertainties and test competing hypotheses that are designed to addre s the uncertainties around the potential impacts front the project 011 Indiana bats. Currently, ther i no Information available regarding the circumstances or conditions under which-an Indiana bat may be impacted by turbines when the are at risk and for how long. and therefore when to manage turbine operation to minimize or eliminate risk and impacts. The adaptive management plan will include C nsideration for managing turbine operation so that fisk (e tposure to operating turbines) to Indiana bats is minimized as a means ofavoiding/ruinimiziug impacts to Indiana bats.

First Year

The initial ear of th adaptive management program (first year of project operation) will include testing the hypotheses that the _project will result in no take of Indiana bats. This hypothesis will be tested b providing information designed to meet the above objective. During the first year of monitoring, an intensive monitoring program will be implemented that is designed to determine tile level of impact, the circnmstanc s and conditions under \ hich impacts ec ur, and the response/behavior of III diana bats within the spring/summer horne range to the wind project.

The monitoring study will be designed with the cooperation. and assistance of-a research advisory committee made up of .representatives of resource and permitting agencies (USFWS. NYSDE " A 'OE) along with SLW, and will include:

(1) a fatalit monitoring study - the fatality study will follow methods identified by the NYSDEC wind power guidelines (NYSDEC 2009) and include daily casualty searches at project turbines and surveys to measure potential biases (searcher efficiency and carcass removal trials);

(2) monitoring of the nearby maternal colony - a radio tracking study to monitor Indiana bats lise and. occurrence within the spring/summer home range,

During the course of and full owing completion of the first year of study, the results of the monitoring study will beevaluated for adequacy of meeting the objectives and. for developing a set of additional project management action (alternatives to address tile objecti es, if needed.

In the event that take of an Indiana bat occurs during the first year, the r search advisory committee will be consulted to evaluate the need for accelerating avoidance/minimization measures and immediately implementing the turbine management studies that are suggested tor year two (see below).

Second Year

1\ 0 scenarios are possible during the first year of monitoring - take did 01' did not occur. In. the event 0 f no take! the monitoring stud] eswil 1 be evaluated for adequacy of meeting me 0 bj ectives, adJ us led if needed. and conti nued fur a econd year.


In the e ent that the project results in take of an Indiana bates) the information gained about the take lrom the study will be used to inform turbine management OJ' a oidance/minimization measures designed to address the circumstances around the take. Assuming that take of an Indiana bat has occurred, the second year of the adaptive management program will inel ude testing the hypotheses thai turbine management will reduce overall risk to bats and therefore presumably fisk to Indiana bats. The econd year monitoring study will include:

(1) a test of turbine management to reduce i mpacts to bats - a designed study to eva 1 uate the effects of turbine operation treatments (e.g., changes in'· turbine cut-ill. speed; selected turbine curtailment; use of deterrent technology) all bat mortality.

Turbine management may be adjusted to minimize risk from turbines determined most likely to impact Indiana bats and at the time impacts are most likel. Currently. this information is unkno IJ 0 developing a specific measure is not possible. However, general turbine management measures to reduce o eral ~ risk to bats may be implemented to further reduce overall impacts to bats under the assumption that this would in turn reduce risk to Indiana bats, Adjusted project .management measures will be monitored during the second year to evaluate the effecti veness 0 f meeting the 0 bj eel i yes.

Third Y ar

The third year of monitoring will be based on results of the second year of stud. Under the scenario that take occurred in • ear one and turbine management was studied to determine the effectiveness of avoiding/minimizing the impacts in year two, the results will be evaluated for meeting the objectives, the avoidance/minimization measures adjusted, if neededjand monitoring will continue under the new turbine management. strategy, Under. the scenario that nc take has occurred, the monitoring studies win be evaluated for adequacy of meeting the objectives, adjusted j f needed. and continued Ior a third ear.

If no take has occurr d by the end of the third year of operation the monitoring study will be discontinued and only permit compliance monitoring will continue (see below), If take has occurred and the adjusted turbine manag rnent measures are still nat effective at avoiding impacts to Indiana bats, the need for continued adaptive management measures win be evaluated with the research advisory committee.


SL W will engage in monitoring of the project for two purposes - as part of the adaptiv management program ee above) and compliance monitoring as required b the incidental take permit.

Monitoring Study - SLWwiU engage in arninimum 3-year monitoring program to. determine the level of irnpae t and circumstances under which impacts to Indiana bats occur from the SL W project. The monitoring study will be an integral part of '(he adaptive management program see above) and will include three components: (1) convening a research advi ory committee' made up of, at a minimum, the project owner/operator representative and resource agency personnel (USFW8, NYSDEC, ACOE) charged With determining the monitoring study scope and design;


(2) implementing the monitoring study that will include surveys for direct impacts in the wind project and sur e S of the Indiana bats presumably at greatest risk; and (3) evaluating the study results with the research advisory committee (see Appendix 0). TbLS study will help fill a void in information related to risk to Indiana bats from wind turbines and would pro ide information for use in the adaptive management program.

'ompliance Monitoring - SL W will engage in monitoring for the life of the permit to determine jf take of Indiana bats exceeds the level of authorized take. Due to the uncertainties around potential take of Indiana bats and the variability involved in documenting actual take, cornpl ianoe ill nitoring will include a multi-year mist-netting and radio tracking study to monitor the nearby maternal colony that was located during the pre-projectstudies. The Objective of the study would be to monitor the maternal colony for change in numbers of individuals or location and pro ide continued data on habitat LIse by Indiana bats. Initially this monitoring will be incorporated into the post-construction monitoring associated with the adaptive management program, TIle long Lerro scope and chedule for this monitoring will be determined through the consultation prt cess and with the research advisory committee and requirements of the incidental take permit,

Additional Conservation Measures

Bat Research - The current level of knowledge regarding Indiana bat biology is greater than many species of bats, due in large part to their listed status; however, continued research is highly valuable in understanding the life history and biology of the species, in tum providing information critical to the recovery of the species. SL W will implement the following research project as part of the overall monitoring stud which is designed to provide information related to risk of'the wind project to indiana bats in the Cape Vincent region.

• Banding and radio-tracking study of late summer/early-fall Indiana bats to determine dispersal patterns and behavior in relation to known winter hibemacula and to determine if there are any additional hibernaculai n the region. This study will ocour daring the first year of monitoring the nearby maternal colony to provide additional information related to, risk to Indiana bats.

• Banding study of little brown bats captured during the Indiana bat netting efforts (above) in conjunction with the Jatalky monitoring study to determine impact to summer resident bats. The fatality monitoring study would provide informauoncn the number of banded little brown bats actually affected and through a mark-recapture study design, the effects on the local population of little brown bats, A ·tudy of Ibis nature would help determine the true risk to local resident (non-migratory) species living around wind projects and under the surrogate species assumption (see Impact Assessment above) the p tential risk to Indiana bats. This study will occur simultaneously and opportunisticall (all little brown bats captured during the netting efforts will be banded} with the Indiana bat maternal colony monitoring for the three years of monitoring described above.


Campen. etten - Currently, Indiana bats-are being impacted b· a disease known a "white nose syndrome '. The cause of the disease is" essentially unknown. however, mortality resulting from the disease is ery high, threatening to extirpate local populations of Indiana bats defined b the hibernaculum in which the; occur and which may be infected. A primary objecti of the USFWS for Indiana bat recovery is determining the cau e and solution to white nose syndrome. Acciona Energy, the parent company of St. Lawrence Wlndpower has pro ided funds to the Emergency White Nose Syndrome Fund. In addition, SL W will provide $50,000 of continued funding to Bat onservation International (Beo for on-going re earch on white nose syndrome geared toward determining cause and corrective actions to offset the high levels of mortality. with, the overall objective of species conservation (Arnett2010).

Acciona Energy is also a contributing member t the Bat-Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) to fund studies on monitoring impacts from wind turbines and investigating mitigation strategies uch as adjusting turbine cut-in speed and bat leterrenrmethods. Acciona will continue to contribute $10,000 to BWEC on an annual basis for five years, unless the cooperative is disbanded pri r to five years.


Under the ESA, effects are classified as those "not likely to ad ersely affect' or those "likely 'La adversely affect a listed species. The ESA ( ection 3) defines "tal e" as ' hares , harm, pursue, hunt shoot. wound, kill, trap, capture. collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduce'. "Not likely to adversely affect" is the appropriate conclusion when effeots are expected to be discountable, insignificant, or beneficial. Discountable effect are those which are e rtremely unlikely to occur and are essentially not exp cted to occur. Insignificant effects refer to the size and/or magnitude of the effect, and are those effects which should never reach a scalex here take occurs. Diseountable and insignificant effects are effects which cannot be detected, measured, or evaluated to any meaningful degree,

The L'vV Project could potentially harass. harm. or kill Indiana bat through loss of habitat or direct fatality of individuals. The USFWS defines 'mum' as "significant habitat modification or degradati n that results in death or injury to listed species by significantly Impairing behavioral patterns such as breeding, feeding, 01' sheltering". The USFWS defines "harass" as' "actions that create the likelihood of.injury to listed species to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal b havior pattern which include. but are not limited to. breeding, feeding or sheltering". TIle SLW Project will result in the loss of some Indiana bat habitat but this loss {-2.5 acres) is not expected to be great enough to lead to harassment or harm of Indiana bats to the extent to meet the definition of 'take". 1n addition, project planning measures will be used to avoid and minimize habitat loss impacts by cutting trees when Indiana bats would not be present on site, Loss of habitat impacts from the SLW Project will not lead to take of individual Indiana bats and this potential impact i not likeh to adversely affect Indiana bats.

peration of the project could potenriallj lead to direct mortality of Indiana bats if they were to collide ith a turbine 'blade or die from barotrauma. 'Using the best available information under a


suite of assumptions that were discussed above it is plausible that the project could lead to the death of between 0' and 3 Indiana bats p r ear. If the threshold of zero is passed, this impact meets the definition of "take 'and the appropriate determination is that the LW project is likely to ad ersely affect Indiana bat.

Future Status of Species

Under the scenari presented for impacts to Indiana bat from the project, the status of Indiana bat in the project area could change over time due to 01e project if the local population is .currenlly . table, thai is, it is neither increasing 110r decreasing. Under the stable population cenario, additional SOUTceS of mortality above background (existing) mortality levels can lead to population declin s, The best available information regarding the Indiana bat population in the U. . uggests that the overall numbers were increasing prior to 2008 and areas on the peripher of the species range were experiencing the greatest increases (U FWS 2007). This information is somewhat contradictory to available local information which suggests the Glen Park population is currently declining (see Environmental Baseline above). Site surveys in 20.08 failed to capture any Indiana bats despite a much greater survey effort and conducting the urveys during a more optimal period than 2007. Also, information from NYSDE suggests the Glen Park cave winter population f Indiana bats is in decli ne and i currently roughly one-half of the peak numbers for this population. The declining population suggests that other existing, impacts, such as White Nose Syndrome, ha e an impact on the Indiana bat population. With no Indiana bats colonizing or known to be roosting in the project area, coupled with a declining population, 0 er time the potential for the project La impact Indiana bats Is further reduced. Proposed conservation measures that will be implemented with the project (Liming habitat impacts to avoid take preservation ofhabitat, project operational changes) further redu e the potential [or the project to impact Indiana bats. Operational changes will be determined through an adaptive manag ment program to identify direct impacts and measures to .avoid and minimized those impacts, In general, while the possibility of take exists. impacts from the SLW Project are nat expected to 'be at a level that would cause a change in the future status of the species.


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Personal Communications

Ed Arnett, Bat Conservation Internarional (Bel), Austin, Texas.

Eric Britzke, Research. Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg Mississippi

Brianaa Gary. Ne\. York Department of nvironmental Conservation (NYDEC)" Albany New York.

Alan Hicks, New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYO:E ). Albany, New York.

Robyn Niver U. .Pish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Cortland, New York.

Craig tihler West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (WVDNR) harleston, West



Appendix A Species List

Jefferson County

Page 1 ofl

JeIferBo.n County

Federally Listed Endangered and Threatened Species and Candidate Species

This list represents the best available information regarding known or likely County occurrences of Federally-listed and candidate species and is subject to change as new information becomes available,

Common Name

Scientific Name

Bald eagle 1

Haltaeetus leucocephalus


Indiana bat (W/S)

ll!fyotis gada/is


Piping plover sizeLDesignated Critical Charadrius melodus Habitat]

Status Codes: E=Endangered, 'l=Threatened, P=Proposed, C=Cemdidate. D=Delistcd.

W=Winter S=SuIDmer

t The bald eagle was delisted on August 8. 2007. While there are no ESA requirements for bald eagles after this date) the eagles continue to receive protection under the Bald and Golden Eagle P rotection Act (BGEPA).Pleasefollow the Service's May 2007 Bald Eagle Management Guidelines to determine whether you can avoid impacts under the BGEPA for your projects. If you have any questions, please contact the endangered species branch in our office.

Information current as of. 5I2812010!CountyListslJeffersonDec2006.htm


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