Article 11 Incidental Take Permit Application for the St Lawrence Windpower Project, Jefferson County, New York

Permit Applicant:
St. Lawrence Windpower LLC Peter Duprey, Chief Executive Officer Acciona Energy N.A. Corp. 333 West Wacker Drive Chicago, IL 60606 Contact/Agent: Blayne Gunderman, Environmental Manager

Prepared by:
David Tidhar and David P. Young Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. 26 North Main St., Waterbury Vermont 05676 and 2003 Central Ave., Cheyenne Wyoming 82001

November 1, 2010

 

Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 1  2.0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION....................................................................................................... 4  2.1 Construction .......................................................................................................................... 4  2.2 Transportation System .......................................................................................................... 6  2.3 Turbines ................................................................................................................................ 7  2.4 Underground Collector System ............................................................................................ 8  2.5 Substation and Interconnection ............................................................................................. 9  2.6 Overhead Transmission Line ................................................................................................ 9  2.7 Operations and Maintenance Facility ................................................................................... 9  2.8 Operation and Maintenance .................................................................................................. 9  2.9 Decommissioning ............................................................................................................... 10  2.10 Decommissioning Process ................................................................................................ 10  2.11 Site Restoration Process.................................................................................................... 11  2.12 Wetland Mitigation and Storm Water Management ......................................................... 12  3.0 SPECIES IMPACTED ........................................................................................................... 13  3.1 Species List ......................................................................................................................... 13  3.2 Nature and Extent of Taking ............................................................................................... 13  3.3 Grassland Birds – Direct Impacts ....................................................................................... 14  3.3.1. Determination of Direct Impacts to Grassland Birds at SLW .................................... 17  3.4 Grassland Birds – Indirect Impacts ..................................................................................... 26  3.4.1 Direct Habitat Loss ...................................................................................................... 26  3.4.2 Non-Raptor Bird Displacement ................................................................................... 29  3.4.3 Raptor Displacement .................................................................................................... 30  3.4.4 Determination of Indirect Impacts on Grassland Birds ............................................... 30  4.0 ANALYSIS OF ACTION ON CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF SPECIES .......................... 40  4.1 Henslow’s Sparrow ............................................................................................................. 40  4.2 Upland Sandpiper ............................................................................................................... 43  4.3 Short-Eared Owl ................................................................................................................. 45  4.4 Northern Harrier ................................................................................................................. 48  5.0 ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS .................................................................................................. 50  5.1 No Action ............................................................................................................................ 50  5.2 Alternate Size of Project ..................................................................................................... 50  5.3 Avoidance Measures ........................................................................................................... 50  5.4 Minimization Measures ...................................................................................................... 52  5.5 Monitoring Compliance ...................................................................................................... 52  6.0 MITIGATION MEASURES .................................................................................................. 53  6.1 Scientific Monitoring Studies ............................................................................................. 53  6.1.1 Bird Habituation and Avoidance Study ....................................................................... 54  6.1.2 Wintering Short-Eared Owl Study ............................................................................... 54  6.2 Construction Monitoring..................................................................................................... 54 

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6.3 Long-Term On-Site Monitoring ......................................................................................... 55  6.4 Net Conservation Benefit.................................................................................................... 55  6.4.1 Conservation Easement ................................................................................................ 60  6.5 Adaptive Management ........................................................................................................ 61  6.6 Funding ............................................................................................................................... 62  7.0 REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................... 62 

LIST OF TABLES
Table 1.1. Species, and their legal status, included in the St. Lawrence Wind Project Article 11 Incidental Take Permit. .................................................................................................................... 1  Table 2.1. St. Lawrence Wind Project Facility Impacts to Landover .......................................................... 4  Table 3.1. Direct and indirect impacts from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project on species included in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit. ....................................................................... 14  Table 3.2. Potential temporal direct and indirect impacts from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project on Species included in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit. ..................................................... 14  Table 3.3. Bird fatalities reported from published post-construction monitoring studies conducted at New York State wind energy facilities. ......................................................................................... 15  Table 3.4. Publically available post-construction wind energy wildlife monitoring studies; literature search conducted December 15, 2009. ......................................................................................... 17  Table 3.5. Fatalities of short-eared owl, northern harrier and upland sandpiper from 41 published post-construction monitoring studies conducted at US and Canadian wind energy facilities. ...... 18  Table 3.6. Comparison of grassland bird pre-construction use estimates derived from Breeding Bird Survey results from Maple Ridge (Flat Rock), Grassland Bird Survey results from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project, and post-construction fatality data derived from all published studies in New York State.............................................................................................................. 23  Table 3.7. Take levels and projected seasonality of direct impacts at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ........................................................................................................................................... 24  Table 3.8. Housing Characteristics, Cape Vincent Town, Jefferson County, New York. .......................... 27  Table 3.9. Land cover/land use areas with the potential to provide habitat for target grassland sensitive bird species at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ................................................... 31  Table 3.10. Observations and proportion of use of Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, northern harrier and short-eared owl by landcover type within the St. Lawrence Windpower Project; all survey data. ............................................................................................................................... 39 

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.1. Map of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ........................................................................... 3  Figure 2.1. Landcover map of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ......................................................... 5  Figure 2.2. Acciona 1.5 MW turbine dimensions schematic. ....................................................................... 8 

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Figure 3.1a. Distribution of documented fatalities of short-eared owls. ..................................................... 19  Figure 3.1b. Distribution of documented fatalities of northern harriers. .................................................... 20  Figure 3.1c. Distribution of documented fatalities of upland sandpipers. .................................................. 21  Figure 3.3. Trends in land use and ownership for agricultural land in New York ...................................... 27  Figure 3.4. Photographs of land use and landcover following development of modern wind energy facilities and suburban housing development in grassland and mixed-agricultural settings. ........ 28  Figure 3.5. Map of all recorded observations of short-eared owl, northern harrier, Henslow’s sparrow and upland sandpiper from St. Lawrence Windpower Project pre-construction surveys as well as NYSDEC surveys, overlaid on NLCD landcover map .................................... 33  Figure 3.6. Number and percentage of observations of Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, northern harrier and short-eared owl by landcover type at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ........................................................................................................................................... 38  Figure 4.1. Range maps for Henslow’s sparrow ......................................................................................... 41  Figure 4.2. New York state distribution of breeding Henslow’s sparrow from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas ....................................................................................................................... 41  Figure 4.3. Map of Breeding Bird Survey routes in the vicinity of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. ........................................................................................................................................... 42  Figure 4.4. Range maps for upland sandpiper ............................................................................................ 44  Figure 4.5. New York state distribution of breeding upland sandpiper from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas ....................................................................................................................................... 44  Figure 4.6. Range maps for short-eared owl ............................................................................................... 45  Figure 4.7. New York state distribution of short-eared owl from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas ...... 46  Figure 4.8. Abundance of wintering short-eared owls as determined through Christmas Bird Count Results ............................................................................................................................................ 47  Figure 4.9. Wintering short-eared owl roost sites identified by the NYSDEC during 2006-2009 surveys ........................................................................................................................................... 47  Figure 4.10. Range maps for short-eared owl ............................................................................................. 48  Figure 4.11. New York state distribution of breeding northern harrier from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas ....................................................................................................................................... 49  Figure 6.1a. Map of proposed conservation easement for sensitive grassland birds at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project........................................................................................................ 57  Figure 6.1b. Map of proposed conservation easement for sensitive grassland birds at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project........................................................................................................ 58  Figure 6.2. Photographs taken March 22, 2010 of proposed conservation easement for sensitive grassland birds at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project................................................................ 59  Figure 6.3. Process for deciding between grassland and shrubland/early successional habitat projects ... 60 

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LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix A – Information Request by the NYSDEC for the Article 11 ........................................................   Appendix B – Indiana Bat Biological Assessment…………………………………………………………..  Appendix C – Wildlife Protection Plan ..........................................................................................................

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1.0 INTRODUCTION
St. Lawrence Windpower, LLC (SLW) is proposing to develop a wind-powered electrical-generating facility with up to 51 turbine locations and a total capacity of approximately 76.5 (MW). All 51 turbines, temporary construction laydown area(s), access roads, underground interconnect lines, operations and maintenance building, meteorological towers, electrical substation and other components would be located in the Town of Cape Vincent; and most of the proposed overhead electrical transmission line and substation facility would be located in the Town of Lyme where there is an existing transmission grid substation. Given the extent of land area necessary to site a wind generation facility, and the extent of open land (farmland) in the Project Area1 (Figure 1.1), SLW proposes to obtain lease easements, and thereby maintain the current use of the farmland within the Project Area. Article 11 of the NYS Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) prohibits “take'' of a fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened without a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued pursuant to Article 11 Section 0535 of the ECL. Based on the current Project layout, NYSDEC has determined that measures to avoid and minimize impact will not prevent all take of endangered/threatened species and has therefore recommended that an Article 11 permit be acquired. Threatened and endangered species considered by the NYSDEC to be at risk of take by construction or operation of the Project include four state-listed threatened and endangered grassland bird species (northern harrier [Circus cyaneus], short-eared owl, [Asio flammeus] Henslow’s sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], upland sandpiper [Bartramia longicauda]) and the state- and federally-listed endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis; Table 1.1). This Article 11 Incidental Take Permit Application will outline the commitments of avoidance, minimization of impacts and finally, mitigation in order to produce a “net benefit impact” to NYS threatened and endangered bird species identified by the NYSDEC as being at risk from construction or operation of the SLW Project. A Biological Assessment (BA) for the Indiana bat was prepared by SLW for the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Appendix B), which contains all information requested by the NYSDEC for assessing a state incidental take permit for the species (see Appendix A). The SLW Project has developed a long-term, project lifespan Wildlife Protection Plan (SLW 2010) which includes detailed study protocols and descriptions for monitoring potential impacts to species, including those in this Article 11 Permit Application ( see Appendix C). Table 1.1. Species, and their legal status, included in the St. Lawrence Wind Project Article 11 Incidental Take Permit. Common Name Scientific Name Federal Status State Status short-eared owl Endangered Asio flammeus Henslow’s sparrow Threatened Ammodramus henslowii upland sandpiper Threatened Bartramia longicauda northern harrier Threatened Cirus cyaneus Indiana bat Endangered Endangered Myotis sodalis This Application contains the following information requested by the NYSDEC (see Appendix A) including:

1

 The Project Area refers to infrastructure including but not limited to turbines, underground transmission lines, roads, substations and facility buildings, as well as the immediate vicinity of development which includes existing residential developments, agricultural, natural and semi-natural habitats.   

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind (1) Project description (Sections 1.0 and 2.0); (2) The nature and extent of the impact (Section 3.0); (3) Analyses of whether the impact threatens the continued existence of the species in question (Section 4.0); and (4) Descriptions of alternatives considered for the Project, including: avoidance and minimization measures implemented by the Project (Section 5.0); and mitigation measures that will be employed by the Project (Section 6.0). The purpose of the proposed SLW Project is to develop a wind powered electrical-generating facility in an area pre-determined to be one of New York’s suitable areas capable of sustained utility-scale wind power generation. This Project would be a significant source of renewable energy to the New York power grid. The Project would facilitate compliance with New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) Order 03-E-0188, issued on September 24, 2004, which created the New York State Retail Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The purpose of the RPS is to increase the proportion of electricity from renewable energy sources in New York State to 25 percent by the end of 2013. The Project also supports several objectives identified in the 2002 State Energy Plan (New York State Energy Planning Board 2002). These objectives include stimulating economic growth, increasing energy diversity, and promoting a cleaner and healthier environment. The benefits of the proposed Project also include significant positive impacts on socioeconomics 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 development 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 stated objectives. Project development is an iterative process that initially involved a detailed assessment of the wind resource to determine viability in developing a utility scale project in the proposed project area. Appropriate buffers from roads, property lines, and residences were accounted for in developing the first conceptual layout. Additional considerations in the development process included turbine options and associated spacing requirements, land use and land rights restrictions, engineering considerations, and environmental concerns. Extensive pre-construction surveys and studies were conducted to determine site-specific data useful in designing the project for a number of resources including socioeconomics, visual, noise, wildlife, vegetation, water/wetlands, and cultural resources. Additional details regarding the project development process can be found in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (TetraTech EC 2007) and the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (TetraTech EC 2009). Pre-construction wildlife studies completed at the Project were conducted in accordance with recommendations included in the Draft New York State Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Farms (NYSDEC 2007), as well as study recommendations made by NYSDEC Central Office and Region 6. Post-construction wildlife monitoring proposed by SLW for the Project meets or exceeds study requests made in the Final New York State Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Farms (NYSDEC 2009). The NYSDEC Guidelines for wind power project studies (NYSDEC 2009) are derived from the Environmental Conservation Law, which articulates the policies of the DEC (Article 1), the powers and duties of the Commissioner (Article 3), and the requirements for the protection of fish and wildlife and their habitats (Article 11). These Guidelines set forth DEC’s recommendations to commercial wind energy developers on how to characterize bird and bat resources at on-shore wind energy sites, and how to estimate and document impacts resulting from the construction and operation of wind energy projects.

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Figure 1.1. Map of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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2.0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The final project design considered in this evaluation has undergone extensive scrutiny to avoid and minimize potential impacts from the Project (SLW 2010). For example, the initial project design included 96 turbines. The locations of the current 51 turbines were determined through numerous iterations and evaluations of potential impacts to resources in the project area (SLW 2010). Landcover types within the Project area were evaluated using Land Use Landcover maps (LULC NAIP 2001) to determine Project impacts to habitats available to potentially occurring sensitive species and for use in Project planning such that overall environmental impacts could be minimized (Figure 2.1). Permanent and temporary impacts of SLW Project infrastructure to landcover types are summarized in Table 2.1. A total of 42.55 acres will be permanently impacted and 216.05 acres temporarily impacted by the Project. Table 2.1. St. Lawrence Wind Project Facility Impacts to Landover (LULC NAIP 2001).
Habitat Open Water Developed, Open Space Developed, Low Intensity Developed, Medium Intensity Developed, High Intensity Barren Deciduous Forest Evergreen Forest Mixed Forest Scrub-Shrub Grassland Pasture/Hay Crops Woody Wetlands Emergent Wetlands Total Temp. Roads 0.00 0.17 1.02 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.61 0.00 0.00 1.38 2.18 40.17 22.55 0.42 0.00 69.49 Temp. Turbs. 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.89 0.00 0.00 1.11 2.30 51.90 24.65 0.68 0.00 82.52 Collector Temp. Areas Lines Construction 0.00 0.00 0.37 0.18 0.79 0.13 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.37 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.62 0.26 1.22 0.00 29.55 5.25 15.91 8.28 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.00 49.89 14.14 Subtotal Temp. 0.00 0.72 1.94 0.00 0.00 0.00 4.91 0.00 0.00 3.37 5.70 126.87 71.39 1.15 0.00 216.05 Perm. Roads 0.00 0.06 0.41 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.70 0.00 0.00 0.63 0.93 17.43 9.74 0.19 0.00 30.10 Perm. Sub-stat./ Turbs. O&M 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.26 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.51 10.98 0.27 0.28 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.82 11.52 Subtotal Perm. 0.00 0.06 0.67 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.72 0.00 0.00 0.63 0.95 28.92 10.29 0.31 0.00 42.55

2.1 Construction The construction of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project would include a maximum of 51 turbine foundations, Acciona 1.5 MW turbines, permanent roads, and underground transmission cable (collection system). Construction will result in 14.7 miles of new permanent roads, 16.5 miles of temporary access roads, and 36.0 miles of underground collection system of interconnection cables (Figure 1.1). The project would also include 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 abandoned railroad ballast and an existing municipal water line that terminates at the interconnection with the existing transmission grid (Figure 1.1). 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.

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Figure 2.1. Landcover map of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project (LULC NAIP 2001).

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Project construction will occur in several stages: (1) Clearing and grading of the temporary field construction office, substation, access roads, crane pads, turnaround areas and turbine locations; (2) Construction of access roads; (3) Construction of turbine tower foundations and transformer pads; (4) Installation of the underground interconnect line; (5) Construction of the approximately 9 miles of overhead transmission line; (6) Assembly and erection of the wind turbines; (7) Construction and installation of the substation; (8) Plant commissioning and energizing; and (9) Final grading, drainage, and site restoration. Actual Project construction would occur over one construction season (approximately 7-9 months typically between mid-April through mid-December for the Cape Vincent region) and would require approximately 100 construction-related personnel depending on the 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 October and March, prior to the primary construction season. Following turbine construction, site restoration activities would begin. The 150-foot temporary construction area around turbines, access road corridors, any temporary crane paths, and other temporarily disturbed areas will be restored according to the construction plan and any applicable state or federal permits. In general, restoration activities would include subsoil de-compaction (as necessary), rock/gravel removal, re-establishing pre-construction contours, spreading of stockpiled topsoil, and re-vegetation by seeding and mulching. 2.2 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 state, county and local highways and roads that vary from two-lane highways to gravel roads. The New York State (NYS) Highway system in and adjacent to the Project area includes Interstate Route 81; NYS Routes l2E, 12, and 180; and several Jefferson County roads. Existing farm roads throughout the Project area also facilitated the siting of turbines and the proposed infrastructure corridors; however, since turbine sites must be located a distance from existing roads, a total of 14.7 miles of new access roads will be constructed to reach project facilities. These roads will have a permanent footprint approximately 17 feet wide and generally will parallel strings of turbines to minimize the impacts to agricultural land uses and environmental resources 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 in order to accommodate construction traffic and heavy equipment. Road construction typically involves a two stage process of clearing and grubbing of the right-of-way and topsoil stripping in active agricultural areas, as necessary, followed by the road grading and construction.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Site clearing would be the initial phase of construction and would ideally occur immediately prior to road and turbine construction. Given the relatively short construction season for the project area, site clearing and any tree cutting required would occur from October to March. Topsoil would be stripped, segregated and stockpiled along the road corridor for use 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 right-ofway. Cleared vegetation would be chipped and properly spread on-site or hauled to an off-site location for disposal or reuse. Subsoil will be graded, compacted, and surfaced with gravel or crushed stone in accordance with the requirements of the wind turbine manufacturer and geotechnical engineering considerations. The finished width of permanent access roads will be 17 feet including side slopes. Crosssections at turning radii and pull-offs to accommodate passing vehicles would be slightly wider, as necessary for safety. Culverts needed for wetland/stream 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. 2.3 Turbines The wind turbines proposed for the project are Acciona 1.5 MW turbines. Each turbine will 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 tower to raise the voltage of the electricity produced by the turbine generator to the voltage level of the underground collection system. The towers will have a base diameter of approximately 4.25 m (~14 feet) and be 76.9 m (~252 feet) tall to the nacelle, resulting in a hub height of 80 m (~262 feet) (Figure 2.2). Each tower will have a locked access door and an internal safety ladder to access the nacelle, and will be painted offwhite to make the structure less visually obtrusive. The rotor diameter will be 82 m (~269 feet) with blades approximately 41 m (~135 feet) long, except for one 77 m (~253 feet) rotor turbine, No. 28, which will have blades that are approximately 39 m (128 feet) long (Figure 2.2). The total rotor swept area will extend from approximately 39 m (~128 feet) to 121 m (~397 feet) above ground level (Figure 2.2). Turbine components would be delivered to the Project site on uncovered transport trucks. Turbine erection is typically performed in stages: (1) foundation construction, (2) setting of the electrical components in the foundation, (3) erection of the tower, (4) erection of the nacelle, (5) assembly and erection of the rotor, (6) connection and termination of the internal cables, and (7) inspection and testing of the electrical system. Turbine assembly and erection 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(s) would move from one tower 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 farm fields. In general, it will take approximately two weeks to erect a turbine once the foundation and roads are in place. A temporary construction work area consisting of a 150-foot radius around each turbine foundation is necessary for wind turbine assembly and erection. A 100 x 50 foot driveway/crane pad adjacent to the access roads will be maintained for the life of the Project. Following completion of project construction, the temporary work areas will be reclaimed to the existing land use. Farmland and crop fields will be restored up to the edge of the gravel pad.

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Figure 2.2. Acciona 1.5 MW turbine dimensions schematic.

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 approximately 7 to 10 feet deep and approximately 50 feet across. Foundations typically require approximately 320 cubic yards (cy) of concrete. After the concrete is cured, the surface is backfilled with the excavated material. Permanent loss of usable land would be minimized to the tower diameter and gravel driveway/crane pad to the tower. 2.4 Underground Collector System Electricity from the wind turbines would be generated at a specific voltage and transported through underground cables that connect groups of turbines together electrically. Approximately 36 miles of collector system lines will feed to the Project substation located within the Project area (see Figure 1.1). The collector system will follow project roads as much as possible. In areas where the system will deviate from roads, a corridor approximately 12 feet wide, centered on the interconnection route, will be cleared for cable installation machinery. The construction corridor will increase an additional 6 feet 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, except where bedrock is encountered in which the cable would be buried at least six inches below bedrock depth. Restoration of the interconnection line, as needed, will follow immediately after installation.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind 2.5 Substation and Interconnection The Collection System Substation would step 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 Transmission Owner’s Substation attachment facility (interconnection) will be located at the existing substation in Lyme, owned by National Grid. At this location, electricity delivered would be metered and a protection system put into place to ensure reliability and integrity of the infrastructure. The design of the attachment facilities to the 115 kV line would be finalized based on a facility study conducted by the transmission line owner and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) in accordance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Transmission Tariff. 2.6 Overhead Transmission Line A 9-mile transmission line will connect the project to the existing electrical grid (Figure 1.1). 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 construction vehicles and equipment. Additional access to the work area would include use of existing farm roads and private drives; no new access roads are proposed for the transmission line. The transmission line would be on treated wood utility poles and consist of two conductors. Pole spacing will be approximately 90 m (300 feet) for the 9 mile corridor resulting in approximately 160 poles. The transmission line would be designed according to Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC) standards (APLIC 2006) to minimize potential impacts to avian species. 2.7 Operations and Maintenance Facility The primary O&M facility would be located on approximately 11.5 acres in the Town of Cape Vincent (Figure 1.1) and will be co-located with the Collection System Substation. The facility construction area would be prepped (cleared, grubbed, and graded) and concrete foundations and gravel surfacing would 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 will be used for parts assembly, parking, shortterm storage of parts and equipment, and other construction-related activities. 2.8 Operation and Maintenance The Project would be operated and maintained by St. Lawrence Windpower LLC. Once operational, the Project would be almost completely automated. The project generation would be monitored and controlled from the O&M facility by a permanent staff of approximately 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 crane might be required to effectively repair any exposed (external) turbine, nacelle, or rotor problems. In the event of turbine or plant facility 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-call local technician who can respond quickly in the event of emergency notification or critical outage.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Because turbines are located in agricultural fields, the current vegetation and land use will be restored up to the turbine pad to minimize impacts to agriculture. Management of agricultural activities and the land and vegetation around each turbine will remain with the current land owner. Maintenance and management of the actual infrastructure and right-of-way areas that are not agricultural fields will be the responsibility of SLW. Other site management activities will include vegetation management around infrastructure and facilities such as periodic mowing as necessary, building inspection and maintenance; periodic maintenance of roads including grading, and contouring to restore the road surface. The turbines and roads will not be lit except for required FAA lights on the nacelle of selected turbines. The O&M facility will have outside safety lights which may be either manually operated or set to operate via motion detectors. There will be no use of herbicides or pesticides for operation and maintenance of the facility. Maintenance of the transmission line will include annual inspections of the route for hazard vegetation that may interfere with the conductors. For ground cover, the need for mowing will be evaluated periodically during the growing season and will likely occur on an annual basis. Side trimming of trees or removal of hazard tress adjacent to the line will be scheduled to occur after October 1 and before March 31 each year, unless an emergency situation (e.g., a downed tree) requires tree removal outside of this period. 2.9 Decommissioning The projected life of the Project 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 easement, SLW lease agreements with the landowners provide that all wind project facilities 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. 2.10 Decommissioning Process All decommissioning and restoration activities will adhere to the requirements of appropriate governing authorities and will be in accordance with all applicable federal, state, 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 access roads if required by the landowner, restoration of topsoil, re-vegetation and seeding, and a two year monitoring and remediation period. Above-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 categorizing all components and materials into categories 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 preapproved location until the bulk of similar components or materials are ready for transport. The components and material will be transported to the appropriate facilities for reconditioning, salvage, recycling, or disposal. Turbine removal. Access roads to turbines will be widened to sufficient width to accommodate movement of appropriate sized cranes or other machinery required for the disassembly and removal of the turbines. Following de-powering, control cabinets, electronic components, and internal cables will be removed. The 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,

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind nacelle, and tower sections will either be transported whole for reconditioning and reuse or dissembled into salvageable, recyclable, or disposable components. Turbine foundation removal. Topsoil will be removed from an area surrounding the foundation and stored for later replacement. Turbine foundations will be excavated to a depth sufficient to remove 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 will be compacted to a density similar to surrounding sub-grade material. All unexcavated areas compacted by equipment used in decommissioning shall be de-compacted in a manner to adequately restore the topsoil and sub-grade material to the proper density consistent and compatible with the surrounding area. Underground collection cables. The cables and conduits contain no materials known to be harmful to the environment and will be cut back to a depth greater than four feet. All cable and conduit buried greater than four feet deep will 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 removed and the holes filled in with compatible sub-grade material. In areas where environmental damage from complete removal may outweigh the benefits, the poles will be sawed flush 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 removed and transported to appropriate facilities 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, sold as scrap, recycled, or disposed of appropriately depending upon market value. Foundations and underground components will be removed to a depth of four feet and the excavation filled, contoured, and re-vegetated. Access roads and construction pads. After decommissioning activities of a turbine site are completed, the access road and construction pad will be removed. Gravel will be removed from access roads and construction pads and transported to a pre-approved disposal location. Drainage structures integrated with the access road or construction pad will be removed and backfilled with sub-grade material, the topsoil replaced, and the surface contoured and re-vegetated. Access gates shall remain operational until completion of decommissioning at which time they will be removed unless requested by the landowner that they remain. Ditch crossings connecting access roads to public roads will be removed unless requested that they remain by the landowner. Improvements to Town and County roads that were not removed after construction at the request of the Town or County will likely remain in place. 2.11 Site Restoration Process Topsoil will be removed prior to removal of structures from all work areas and stockpiled, clearly designated, and separate from other excavated material. Prior to topsoil replacement, all rocks four inches or greater will be removed from the surface of the subsoil. The topsoil will be de-compacted to match the density and consistency of the immediate surrounding area. The topsoil will be replaced to original depth and original surface contours reestablished where possible. Any topsoil deficiency and trench settling shall be mitigated with imported topsoil consistent with the quality of the affected site. In accordance with guidelines provided by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM 2008), topsoil de-compaction and replacement will be avoided after October 1, unless

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind 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 1, provision will be made to restore any eroded areas in the springtime to establish proper growth. Following decommissioning activities, the sub-grade material and topsoil from all affected agricultural areas will be de-compacted and restored to a density and depth consistent with the surrounding fields or to a depth of 18 inches. The affected areas will be inspected, thoroughly cleaned, and all debris removed. All disturbed soil surfaces within agricultural fields will be seeded with a seed mix agreed upon with the landowner in order to maintain consistency with the surrounding agricultural uses. All other disturbed areas will be restored to a condition and forage density reasonably similar to original condition. In all areas restoration shall include, as reasonably required, leveling, terracing, mulching, and other necessary steps to prevent soil erosion, to ensure establishment of suitable vegetation cover, and to control noxious weeds and pests. In accordance with the guidelines of the NYSDAM (2008), a monitoring and remediation period of two years immediately following the completion of any decommissioning and restoration activities will be provided. The two-year period allows for the effects of climatic cycles such as frost action, precipitation and growing seasons to occur from which various monitoring determinations can be made. Any remaining agriculture impacts can be identified during this period and follow-up restoration efforts will be implemented. 2.12 Wetland Mitigation and Storm Water Management The Applicant is seeking permit authorization from NYSDEC and the USACE for 0.31 acre of unavoidable permanent impacts to wetlands under their jurisdiction. The Project has been designed to avoid and minimize wetland impacts to the greatest extent practicable. Project components were relocated (micro-sited) at several locations to specifically avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands and/or water bodies; however, the project will result in approximately 1.15 acres of temporary impacts and approximately 0.31 acre of permanent impacts to wetlands or surface water bodies. Wetland areas and open waters temporarily affected during the construction of the Project will be restored to preconstruction contours and re-vegetated with native (non-invasive) plant material or seeds immediately following the completion of regulated activities at each site. For permanent impacts, the Applicant is developing a Wetland Mitigation Plan to compensate for unavoidable impacts as part of the permitting process, in consultation with NYSDEC and USACE (Appendix A). SLW proposes to compensate for the unavoidable permanent fill of wetlands using a 2:1 mitigation ratio. Most of the proposed fill is located in narrow wetland drainage corridors consisting of emergent wetland herbaceous and scrub-shrub located contiguous to agricultural fields. The functional value assessment for these wetlands indicates that they primarily function as runoff conveyances, and provide minor flood water attenuation and potential sediment/toxicant retention. A few wetlands in the project corridors have well-developed vegetative structure and diversity, providing wildlife habitat corridors between fields. Due to their small overall area of these wetlands, their proximity to active agricultural fields, and their lack of diverse or dense vegetation, they have limited wildlife habitat value. In consideration of these limited functional values, the goal for compensatory mitigation is to replace and enhance the lost water quality function and wildlife habitat value provided by the impacted wetlands. SLW proposes to compensate for the loss of these functions by establishing new wetlands at a 2:1 minimum replacement ratio, and to consolidate the replacement in one location contiguous to a more functionally valuable natural wetland, thus increasing the chances of successful re-establishment and addition of wildlife habitat. This wetland replacement also affords practical construction of the replacement and creates a suitable opportunity to enhance the wildlife habitat value of the compensatory

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind wetland by planting trees and dense emergent and herbaceous shrub cover. In addition, SLW will compensate for forested wetland impacts by planting native species around the compensatory wetland mitigation area.

3.0 SPECIES IMPACTED
3.1 Species List Species included in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit include four state-listed threatened and endangered grassland bird species (northern harrier, short-eared owl, Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper) as well as the state- and federally-listed endangered Indiana bat (Table 1.1). All content pertaining to the Indiana bat is included in the BA (Appendix A). 3.2 Nature and Extent of Taking The target grassland birds (northern harrier, short-eared owl, Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper) and Indiana bat are anticipated to be affected by direct and indirect impacts from the SLW Project. Direct impacts of wind energy facilities refer to fatalities resulting from flying birds and bats being killed directly by collisions with wind turbine rotors or towers, project meteorological (met) towers or other means such as barotrauma, electrocution or vehicle collision. Indirect impacts of wind energy development refer to disruptions of foraging behavior, breeding activities, and migratory patterns resulting from alterations in landscapes used by birds and bats. Direct and indirect impacts on birds and bats can contribute to increased mortality, alterations in the availability of food, roost and nest resources, increased risk of predation, and potentially altered demographics, genetic structure, and population viability (NRC 2007). The most probable direct impact to birds from wind energy facilities is direct mortality or injury due to collisions with turbines or guy wires of met towers. Collisions may occur with residents foraging and flying within the project area or with migrants seasonally moving through the project area. Wind energy development has the potential to cause direct loss of habitat where infrastructure is located and indirect loss of habitat through behavioral avoidance and habitat fragmentation. Direct loss of habitat associated with wind energy development is relatively minor for most species compared to most other forms of energy development. Behavioral avoidance, however, may render much larger areas unsuitable or less suitable for some species of wildlife, depending on how far the species are displaced from wind energy facilities. Based on some studies in Europe, displacement effects associated with wind energy were thought to have a greater impact on birds than collision mortality (Gill et al. 1996). The greatest concern with displacement impacts for wind energy facilities in North America has been where these facilities have been constructed in native habitats such as grasslands or shrublands (Leddy et al. 1999, Mabey and Paul 2007). Additionally, concerns have been raised regarding the potential for wind turbines to cause displacement to migrating and wintering birds that may utilize cropland as feeding or stopover habitat. Impacts to target grassland birds and Indiana bat are not anticipated to be uniform (Table 3.1) or occur at equal intensities during different phases of the Project (Table 3.2). Project construction could affect birds through loss of habitat, potential fatalities from collisions with construction equipment, and disturbance/displacement effects from construction activities. Potential mortality from construction equipment is expected to be low. Equipment used in wind energy facility construction generally moves at slow rates or is stationary for long periods (e.g., cranes). The risk of direct mortality to birds from construction is most likely potential destruction of a nest for ground- and shrub-nesting species during site

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind clearing. Impacts from the decommissioning of the facility are anticipated to be similar to construction in terms of noise, disturbance, and equipment. Table 3.1. Direct and indirect impacts from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project on species included in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit. Species Direct Impacts Indirect Impacts short-eared owl Potential mortality Potential loss / degradation of over-wintering habitat Henslow’s sparrow Potential mortality Potential loss / degradation of breeding habitat upland sandpiper Potential mortality Potential loss / degradation of breeding habitat northern harrier Potential mortality Potential loss / degradation of breeding habitat Indiana bat Potential mortality Potential loss / degradation of breeding habitat

Table 3.2. Potential temporal direct and indirect impacts from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project on Species included in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit.
Impact Type Impact Duration Short-Term (e.g., during construction) Direct Mortality or injury from construction or related activity. Disturbance from construction Indirect Temporary loss of habitat from construction areas that will be reclaimed. Prohibiting or altering (displacement) use of the area due to construction activity. Altering or disturbing species behavior patterns due to construction activity. Permanent loss of habitat to wind project. Prohibiting or altering (displacement) use of the area due to the wind project. Altering or disturbing species behavior patterns due to wind project operation. Altering or changing species distribution patterns due to the wind project.

Long-Term (e.g., during project operation and maintenance)

Mortality or injury due to wind plant operation. Disturbance from maintenance.

3.3 Grassland Birds – Direct Impacts A detailed review of direct effects of wind energy on birds is included in the Project SDEIS (TetraTech EC 2009) and Kerns et al. 2007. It is estimated that direct impacts from the SLW Project will be similar to other wind projects; therefore, total avian mortality is likely to range between 117 to 490 birds per year (WEST 2010). Using results obtained from all published fatality studies conducted in New York State, raptor mortality (including turkey vultures and owls) represented only 0.05 percent of total fatalities and waterfowl represented 0.03 percent (Table 3.3). Applying a more conservative estimate derived from first year monitoring at Maple Ridge Wind Farm (Jain et al. 2007) of three percent, a total raptor mortality between 5 and 15 raptors/year and a total waterfowl mortality of between 1 and 5 waterfowl/year is expected. There is no information to suggest that winter raptor mortality would be greater at the proposed Project than at other wind projects studied with similar topography and associated migratory patterns. Furthermore, the Project landscape or topography does not have thermal-producing features that might create added risk for migrating raptor or wintering bird populations.

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Table 3.3. Bird fatalities reported from published postconstruction monitoring studies conducted at New York State wind energy facilities. Common Name Number Percentage unidentified bird 61 19.6 golden-crowned kinglet 56 18.0 red-eyed vireo 28 9.0 magnolia warbler 11 3.6 cedar waxwing 10 3.3 European starling 9 3.0 red-tailed hawk 8 2.7 ruffed grouse 8 2.7 black-throated blue warbler 7 2.3 tree swallow 7 2.3 brown creeper 6 1.9 wild turkey 5 1.6 blue-headed vireo 4 1.5 Canada goose 4 1.5 American woodcock 3 1.0 blackpoll warbler 3 1.0 mallard 3 1.0 ruby-crowned kinglet 3 1.0 unidentified warbler 3 1.0 yellow-bellied sapsucker 3 1.0 American crow 2 0.6 American goldfinch 2 0.6 American redstart 2 0.6 American robin 2 0.6 black-billed cuckoo 2 0.6 Blackburnian warbler 2 0.6 bobolink 2 0.6 broad-winged hawk 2 0.6 cliff swallow 2 0.6 common grackle 2 0.6 chestnut-sided warbler 2 0.6 eastern kingbird 2 0.6 eastern phoebe 2 0.6 hermit thrush 2 0.6 indigo bunting 2 0.6 killdeer 2 0.6 ovenbird 2 0.6 rock pigeon 2 0.6 savannah sparrow 2 0.6 scarlet tanager 2 0.6 sharp-shinned hawk 2 0.6 Swainson's thrush 2 0.6 wood thrush 2 0.6 alder flycatcher 1 0.3 American kestrel 1 0.3

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Table 3.3. Bird fatalities reported from published postconstruction monitoring studies conducted at New York State wind energy facilities. Common Name Number Percentage black-and-white warbler 1 0.3 bay-breasted warbler 1 0.3 black-throated green warbler 1 0.3 common merganser 1 0.3 great horned owl 1 0.3 least flycatcher 1 0.3 northern flicker 1 0.3 palm warbler 1 0.3 Philadelphia vireo 1 0.3 pine warbler 1 0.3 prairie warbler 1 0.3 purple finch 1 0.3 rose-breasted grosbeak 1 0.3 ruby-throated hummingbird 1 0.3 red-winged blackbird 1 0.3 song sparrow 1 0.3 turkey vulture 1 0.3 unidentified vireo 1 0.3 veery 1 0.3 winter wren 1 0.3 yellow-rumped warbler 1 0.3 yellow-throated vireo 1 0.3 TOTAL 312 100
References: Project Madison Maple Ridge 2006 Maple Ridge 2007 Noble Ellensburg Noble Clinton Noble Bliss Citation Kerlinger 2002 Jain et al. 2007 Jain et al. 2008 Jain et al. 2009a Jain et al. 2009b Jain et al. 2009d

Post construction mortality studies conducted at 12 wind facilities throughout the nation indicate a national avian mortality rate of 2.3 birds per turbine per year (birds/turbine/year) (NWCC 2004). Two thirds of fatalities documented during post-construction mortality monitoring studies were assumed to be migrants. Using this mortality rate, a total mortality of 117 birds per year is estimated. When considering results from only wind facilities located in the eastern U.S. region, the calculated average avian mortality rate is 4.3 birds/turbine/year. This mortality rate would result in an estimate total mortality for the Project of 219 birds per year. On a more local level, during three years of post-construction mortality monitoring conducted at the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, a wind facility located approximately 40 miles southeast of the Project, avian mortality estimates ranged from 3.1 - 9.6 birds/turbine/season in 2006 (Jain et al. 2007), to 5.67 – 6.31 birds/turbine/year in 2007 (Jain et al. 2008) to 3.42 – 3.76 birds/turbine/year in 2008 (Jain et al. 2009c). Using these mortality rates, a total mortality of between 158 and 490 birds/year is estimated. Based on the results of these studies, total avian mortality impacts at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project for 51 turbines are likely to range between 117 to 490 birds per year.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind 3.3.1. Determination of Direct Impacts to Grassland Birds at SLW Assessments of potential avian and bat fatality rates at proposed wind energy facilities rely on preconstruction use or activity data collected at the proposed facility2 coupled with comparative analysis incorporating pre-and post-construction data collected at similar projects. While relatively few pre- and post-construction wind-wildlife interaction studies have been completed nationally and within the northeastern U.S. to date, data from additional studies are beginning to become publically available. All publically available reports from post-construction fatality monitoring studies at operating wind energy facilities were reviewed and analyzed to determine national, regional and state annual and seasonal impact rates for the target grassland birds. A total of 41 studies have been completed and published and were reviewed, 10 of which have been conducted in the northeastern U.S. and Ontario, (Table 3.4). A total of six studies have been completed and published at five sites within New York State (Table 3.3). Nationally, among the target grassland birds, 10 short-eared owls, four northern harriers and one upland sandpiper have been documented as turbine collision-induced fatalities, while no Henslow’s sparrow fatalities have been reported (Tables 3.4 and 3.5). No short-eared owl, northern harrier or upland sandpiper fatalities have occurred in the northeast U.S., Ontario or in New York State (Figure 3.1a-c; Table 3.3.3). Fatalities of northern harrier and, in particular, short-eared owl, have been concentrated in the northwestern U.S.; 40% (4) of short-eared owl fatalities have been documented at a single project (Big Horn) and 50% (2) of northern harrier fatalities have occurred at a single project (Hopkins Ridge) in Washington State (Table 3.5 and Figure 3.1). Table 3.4. Publically available post-construction wind energy wildlife monitoring studies; literature search conducted December 15, 2009. Project Name Citation Altamont Pass APWRA-MT 2008 Big Horn Kronner et al. 2008 Blue Canyon II Burba et al. 2008 Buffalo Gap Tierney 2007 Buffalo Mountain 2000-2003 Nicholson 2003, Nicholson et al. 2005 Buffalo Mountain 2005 Fiedler et al. 2007 Buffalo Ridge phase I Johnson et al. 2002 Buffalo Ridge phase II Johnson et al. 2002 Buffalo Ridge phase III Johnson et al. 2002 Combine Hills Young et al. 2005 Crescent Ridge Kerlinger et al. 2007 Diablo WEST 2006, 2008 Erie Shores James 2008 Foote Creek Rim Young et al. 2001 High Winds Kerlinger et al. 2006 Hopkins Ridge 2008 Young et al. 2009b Judith Gap TRC 2008 Klondike Johnson et al. 2003 Klondike II NWC and WEST 2007 Madison Kerlinger 2002 Maple Ridge 2006 Jain et al. 2007 Maple Ridge 2007 Jain et al. 2008 Mars Hill 2007 Stantec 2008 Mars Hill 2008 Stantec 2009

2

 Pre-construction survey results from SLW are described in detail in Kerns et al. 2007 and Tidhar et al. 2009. 

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Table 3.4. Publically available post-construction wind energy wildlife monitoring studies; literature search conducted December 15, 2009. Project Name Citation Meyersdale Arnett 2005 Mount Storm Young et al. 2009a Mountaineer Kerns and Kerlinger 2004 Nine Canyon Erickson et al. 2003 Noble Bliss Jain et al. 2009d Noble Clinton Jain et al. 2009b Noble Ellensburg Jain et al. 2009a Northeastern Wisconsin Howe et al. 2002 NPPD Ainsworth Derby et al. 2007 Oklahoma Wind Energy Center Piorkowski 2006 San Gorgonio Anderson et al. 2005 SMUD Solano URS et al. 2005 Stateline Erickson et al. 2004a Tehachapi Erickson et al. 2004b, Anderson et al. 2004 Top of Iowa Jain 2005 Vansycle Erickson et al. 2000 Wild Horse Erickson et al. 2008

Table 3.5. Fatalities of short-eared owl, northern harrier and upland sandpiper from 41 published post-construction monitoring studies conducted at US and Canadian wind energy facilities. Project State Reference # Casualties % Casualties Date Short-Eared Owl Big Horn WA Kronner et al. 2008 4 2.2 1/2/2007 1/4/2007 1/23/2007 5/5/2007 Foote Creek Rim WY Young et al. 2003 1 0.6 9/28/2000 Judith Gap MT TRC 2008 1 1.6 8/18/2006 Klondike II OR NWC and WEST 2007 1 2 8/7/2006 Leaning Juniper I OR Kronner et al. 2007 1 2.3 4/3/2007 Nine Canyon WA Erickson et al. 2003 1 1.6 4/7/2003 NPPD Ainsworth NE Derby et al. 2007 1 1.9 4/9/2006 Northern Harrier Hopkins Ridge 2008 WA Young et al. 2009b 1 1.1 11/20/2008 SMUD Solano CA URS et al. 2005 1 5.9 1/4/2005 Altamont CA APWRA-MT 2008 1 0.1 4/5/2007 Hopkins Ridge 2006 WA Young et al. 2009b 1 1.7 1/19/2006 Upland Sandpiper NPPD Ainsworth NE Derby et al. 2007 1 1.9 6/12/2006

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Figure 3.1a. Distribution of documented fatalities of short-eared owls.

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Figure 3.1b. Distribution of documented fatalities of northern harriers.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind

Figure 3.1c. Distribution of documented fatalities of upland sandpipers.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Overall, grassland birds represent less than one percent of the published avian fatalities from operating wind energy facilities in the northeast and in New York State (Table 3.3). Those grassland bird species which been most directly impacted at New York facilities include common species such as eastern kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus), American kestrel (Falco sparverius) and savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). Avian mortality at New York wind energy projects has been primarily comprised of passerines, similar to national trends, with unidentified passerine (63; 19%), golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa; 56; 18%) and red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus; 28; 9%) the most frequently recorded. Relatively few northern harrier, short-eared owl, Henslow’s sparrow and upland sandpiper have been documented during pre-construction surveys conducted at the SLW Project. Pre-construction avian surveys completed at the SLW Project (Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009) were designed to determine the relative abundance of target grassland birds within the study area. A specific survey was carried out for grassland birds at the SLW Project (Tidhar et al. 2009) using the NYSDEC Region 6 Grassland Bird Survey Protocol (Mazzocchi and Ross 2009). The objective of this survey was to maximize the detection probability for grassland species through selection of fixed point count sampling locations within the best available habitat present within, and immediately adjacent to, the Project (Lazazzero et al. 2006). Previous point count surveys for breeding birds were also conducted in the project area during prior baseline pre-construction studies (Kerns et al. 2007). The 2009 study provides data for describing the temporal and spatial use by sensitive bird species primarily affiliated with grassland communities of the Project. Two-hundred and four surveys of 29 fixed-points were completed during four survey rounds completed in June and July 2009. Sixty-seven unique species comprising a total of 1778 individuals were detected during the four survey rounds. Relatively few Henslow’s sparrows (four), northern harriers (two), and upland sandpipers (two) were observed (Table 3.6 and Figure 3.5). In addition, 18 northern harriers, two upland sandpipers and one Henslow’s sparrow were observed incidentally while on-site but not during 2009 point-count surveys. No short-eared owls were detected during the 2009 surveys, even though half of the surveys were completed immediately prior to sunset. All locations of the target species were mapped (see Section 3.4.4) in order to analyze spatial patterns of occurrence and assist with Project planning (see Section 5.0). Locations included all observations from all SLW pre-construction studies as well as data provided by the NYSDEC (August 2009). Overwintering concentrations of short-eared owls in central portions of the Project Area were determined through sightings and radio-telemetry data (NYSDEC 2009). Changes to the Project layout were implemented as a result of these data (see Section 5.0; SLW 2010). No nests for any of the four species were documented during pre-construction surveys; however, formal searches for nests were not requested by the NYSDEC during consultations or conducted as part of pre-construction surveys. No strong spatial patterns of use or flight behavior were noted during pre-construction surveys which would have suggested micro-siting turbines to avoid impacts or other planning purposes (SDEIS; TetraTech EC 2009). Results of grassland bird surveys were compared to results from pre-construction breeding bird surveys at the Maple Ridge project3 (Table 3.6). Maple Ridge is the largest operating wind energy facility in the state from which comparable (to SLW) pre-construction biological survey data is available in addition to post-construction fatality data. Results of this analysis indicate that for almost all grassland obligate birds, the number observed and the standardized use estimate (number observed per 5-minute observation/point/ survey) was higher at Maple Ridge compared with SLW. Overall grassland bird mortality has been less than one percent at Maple Ridge and other New York State projects (Table 3.3). Therefore, pre-construction use estimates from SLW and Maple Ridge were compared with all New York State monitoring results in order to increase the scope of the comparative analysis. Most grassland obligate bird species recorded during pre-construction studies have not been recorded as fatalities. It does
3

 Pre-construction breeding bird surveys were completed at Maple Ridge (aka Flat Rock) in summer 2003 (Kerlinger and Dowdell 2003).    

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind not appear that SLW supports dramatically higher species richness or larger populations of grassland birds compared with Maple Ridge; however, see Section 4.0 for site-specific information on habitat availability and/or population status. Table 3.6. Comparison of grassland bird pre-construction use estimates derived from Breeding Bird Survey results from Maple Ridge (Flat Rock), Grassland Bird Survey results from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project, and post-construction fatality data derived from all published studies in New York State. Maple Ridge New York SLW Project+ (Flat Rock)* Monitoring Studies^ # Use # Use Fatalities % + $ $ Species Observed Estimate Observed Estimate recorded Fatalities northern harrier 2 0.03 18 0.12 0 0 short-eared owl 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0 Henslow's sparrow 4 0.07 0 0.00 0 0 upland sandpiper 2 0.03 0 0.00 0 0 vesper sparrow 2 0.03 8 0.05 0 0 savannah sparrow 70 1.21 392 2.67 2 0.6 horned lark 0 0.00 8 0.05 0 0 eastern kingbird 27 0.47 38 0.26 0 0 eastern meadowlark 52 0.90 314 2.14 2 0.6 killdeer 8 0.14 31 0.21 2 0.6
+

Tidhar et al. 2009 * Kerlinger and Dowdell 2003 $ Use estimate standardized to bird/5-minute observation/point ^ For references see Table 3.3

The evidence from monitoring studies strongly suggests that none of the grassland bird species included in this Article 11 Incidental Take Permit are at risk of direct effects which would lead to population-level effects. Population level effects have not been detected for any bird species as a result of wind energy development in the U.S. and wind turbine collision mortality results in <0.01 % of all anthropogenic bird deaths (NRC 2007). However, individual birds may be killed as a result of collision risk existing at the SLW which was not apparent from analysis of pre-construction data comparison with fatality data from other studies. Of the species included here, few fatalities have been recorded at operating wind energy facilities within the U.S. and Canada, with none recorded within the region or New York State (Figures 3.1a-c). These facts decrease the likelihood for potential mortality of grassland birds resulting from operation of the SLW Project. Nonetheless, the potential for fatalities does exist, particularly for northern harrier and short-eared owl, which are known to concentrate over the area during migration and over the winter, respectively (WPP 2010), and which have been documented as collision fatalities at several operating facilities in the U.S. A regression analysis of raptor use and mortality for 13 new-generation wind-energy facilities, where similar methods were used to estimate raptor use and mortality, found that there was a significant correlation between use and mortality (R2 = 69.9%). For non-raptor species, there is currently a lack of data to develop a similar regression on a species-specific basis. Therefore, assessing the risk of direct impacts from a proposed wind energy facility relies most heavily on the pre-construction use estimate derived from appropriate surveys (e.g. avian use surveys, breeding bird surveys, etc.). For the species included in this Article 11 Permit Application, upland sandpiper, Henslow’s sparrow and short-eared owl comprised <1% of the total number of birds observed. Northern harriers comprised 20% of the diurnal raptors observed during winter 2006-2007 surveys, but < 1 % of the total number of birds observed during all surveys combined (Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009). For these reasons, conservative take

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind levels have been determined which exceed the likely levels of fatalities observed for these species based on data from post-construction studies (Table 3.7). Projected raptor fatality levels for the SLW Project range from 1-5 raptors/year (SDEIS; TetraTech EC 2009). The proportion of raptor use comprised of northern harriers was highest during winter 2006-2007 surveys (20%). This proportional use estimate equals one northern harrier fatality per year4 based on the highest level of pre-construction use observed for the species coupled with the highest predicted fatality rate for raptors under the assumption that risk is equal across all raptor species. For upland sandpiper, short-eared owl and Henslow’s sparrow, preconstruction use estimates were <1% and therefore, the minimum fatality rate for each species is estimated at one individual per year, averaged over a three-year period. The take level was determined by calculating a minimum estimate of one individual per year for all species known to occur at the SLW project based on pre-construction studies or data obtained from the NYSDEC (short-eared owls; August 2009). Take estimates have been developed which are averaged over a three year period to account for potential fatality events of more than one individual which may occur at the SLW during a single year as a result of elevated fatality rates occurring at the SLW during a single year or season. Short-eared owl in particular may occur at the SLW in highly variable densities in response to changes in over-wintering patterns associated with changes in prey populations (see Section 4.3). Table 3.7. Take levels and projected seasonality of direct impacts at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. Species Take1 Seasonality Rationale for Take Level Projected raptor fatality levels for the SLW Project range from 1-5 raptors/year (SDEIS; TetraTech EC 2009). The proportion of raptor use comprised of northern harriers was highest during winter 2006-2007 surveys (20%). This proportional Fall use estimate equals one northern harrier fatality per year based northern harrier 1 migration and winter on the highest level of pre-construction use observed for the species coupled with the highest predicted fatality rate for raptors under the assumption that risk is equal across all raptor species. Pre-construction use estimate not applicable because no owls observed during SLW studies. Published studies documenting fatalities show a similar lack of pre-construction use data so short-eared owl 1 Winter correlation not possible. The species was observed only during winter at the SLW, while fatality patterns observed at other studies show impacts occur yearlong. One upland sandpiper has been documented during one fatality study in Nebraska, however relative abundance estimates from other projects are not available for Summer comparative analysis. Conservative take estimate of one per upland sandpiper 1 breeding year produced based on limited data suggesting impacts to season species from other wind energy facilities and low use observed at SLW.

4

Pre-construction use may not predict northern harrier mortality (Whitfield and Madders 2006).

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Table 3.7. Take levels and projected seasonality of direct impacts at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. Species Take1 Seasonality Rationale for Take Level Henslow’s sparrow has not been documented during other fatality studies and relative abundance estimates from other Summer projects are not available for comparative analysis. Use Henslow’s sparrow 1 breeding estimate at SLW <1%. Conservative take estimate of one per season year produced based on lack of data suggesting impacts to species from other wind energy facilities and low use observed at SLW.
1

Estimated annual take averaged over a three year period

The proposed Project may have an effect on Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, northern harrier and short-eared owl, but the Project is not likely to result in downward population trends. Take is anticipated to be one individual per year for all four species averaged over a three-year period (Table 3.7). Direct impacts are anticipated to occur during periods of high abundance and/or during times of the year when individuals may exhibit behavior which elevates collision risk. For instance, short-eared owls concentrate in the area over winter (see Section 4.0) and are found in higher abundance during this time compared with the breeding season or spring and fall migration periods (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Seasonal fatality patterns indicate increased likelihood of collision during the spring and winter (Table 3.5). No short-eared owls were observed during surveys conducted during migration or breeding seasons at the SLW Project (Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009). Individual mortalities of short-eared owls are not anticipated to occur during the breeding season and the New York State breeding population (McGowan and Corwin 2008) is not anticipated to be affected. Northern harriers have been documented as collision fatalities during migration periods as well as during winter (Table 3.5). The number of potentially breeding northern harriers observed during preconstruction surveys at the SLW Project during the breeding season was low compared with migration periods and over-winter. Individual mortalities of northern harriers are not anticipated to occur during the breeding season and the New York State breeding population (McGowan and Corwin 2008) is not anticipated to be affected. Northern harrier mortality observed during post-construction monitoring studies in Europe and North America has been inversely correlated with pre-construction activity estimates; with three fatalities reported at sites with the lowest pre-construction activity rates among a sample of ten studies examined by Whitfield and Madders (2006). The flight and/or foraging behavior of the species may increase vulnerability for collision of individuals flying within close proximity of operating wind turbines. Conversely, Smallwood et al. (2009) noted northern harriers altering behavior to increase caution proximate to turbines, with individuals switching to traveling flight from other flight forms (e.g. foraging) within 50m of turbines. However, little research has been published on the potential influence of behavior on collision risk for the species (and most other birds, including others included here), due to the extremely low probability of observing bird collisions. Henslow’s sparrow has not been documented during other fatality studies and relative abundance estimates from other projects are not available for comparative analysis. At this time it is premature to conclude that Henslow’s sparrow is not at risk of turbine collision exclusively as a result of the zerorecorded fatalities for the species from published studies. However, given the wide geographic range of the species (see Section 4.0) and the low anticipated take level, impacts are not anticipated to result in population level effects to the species. Individual fatalities may occur and are more likely to occur during the breeding season.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Upland sandpiper has been documented during one fatality study in Nebraska (Table 3.5) and relative abundance estimates from other projects are not available for comparative analysis. However, given the wide geographic range of the species (see Section 4.0) and the low anticipated take level, impacts are not anticipated to result in population level effects to the species. Individual fatalities may occur and are most likely to occur during the breeding season when the species is present in the area. 3.4 Grassland Birds – Indirect Impacts 3.4.1 Direct Habitat Loss Grassland birds have been declining faster than any other habitat-species group in the northeastern United States (Lazazzero et al. 2006). The primary cause of these declines is abandonment of agricultural lands and development of residential housing, resulting in habitat loss due to reversion to later successional stages or development. Remaining potential habitat is also being lost or severely degraded by intensification of agricultural practices, such as conversion to row crops or early and frequent mowing of hayfields (Lazazzero et al. 2006). Grasslands are important to the target grassland birds due to their nesting requirements. These species typically build nests on the ground and require a certain amount of cover and minimum disturbance for nesting success. Additionally, the height of the vegetation and size of the area is important to support territorial displays or feeding requirements. Henslow’s sparrow, short-eared owl and upland sandpiper breeding/nesting habitat is typified by older (>10yrs) hay fields or livestock pastures greater than 30ha in size with <50% woody invasion (McGowan and Corwin 2008, Herkert et al. 2003, Dechant et al. 2003c, NatureServe 2005). The preferred breeding/nesting habitat of northern harrier is also grassland but with a different vegetative composition and minimum size. Northern harriers prefer marshy meadows, riparian zones or fallow fields greater than 10 ha in size with thick woody vegetation (0.5-1m tall) occurring at >50% (Dechant et al. 2003c). Habitat characteristics for target grassland birds are reviewed in Sections 4.1 through 4.4. The proposed SLW Project, if constructed, will likely preclude or greatly minimize additional land development within the project area. In New York, grassland bird population declines are linked strongly to the loss of agricultural grasslands, primarily hayfields and pastures (Morgan and Burger 2008; Figure 3.3). Stabilizing the loss of agricultural and grassland habitats from residential development and conversion of farmland has been identified as a high priority for grassland bird conservation by Audubon New York (Morgan and Burger 2008). Wind projects typically allow landowners to maintain the historic land use of an area (e.g., farming, ranching) by providing supplemental income 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 Cape Vincent area has developed into a recreational and second home area for non-local residents. According to U.S. Census Bureau data there was an increase in housing development in Cape Vincent Township by approximately 31% in the 1990s (USCB 2000). Housing structures built in Cape Vincent Township have increased since the 1940s; however, the greatest increase has been since 2000 (Table 3.8). Property in the area is under pressure for sale and development leading to increased human use and alteration of land use in areas currently in natural states or managed for agriculture. The SLW Project will essentially protect the areas within the project boundary in the current state with limited additional change due to development, with the indirect outcome of maintenance of grassland and agricultural habitats. This mosaic provides breeding, overwintering and foraging habitat for grassland birds that will be maintained for the life of the project with less risk of loss to future housing development or encroachment by increased number of humans and their associated impacts (e.g., pets). 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 trend in development is reversed.

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Table 3.8. Housing Characteristics, Cape Vincent Town, Jefferson County, New York. 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

Figure 3.3. Trends in land use and ownership for agricultural land in New York (from Stanton and Bills 1996). Construction of a wind energy facility will result in direct loss of habitat along the actual project footprint. Direct loss of habitat associated with wind energy development is relatively minor compared to most other forms of energy development. Although wind energy facilities can cover substantial areas, the permanent footprint of facilities such as the turbines, access roads, maintenance buildings, substations and overhead transmission lines, generally occupies only 5 to 10% of the entire development area (BLM 2005; Figure 3.4). Habitat loss resulting from construction and operation of SLW infrastructure has the potential to cause direct loss of potential breeding habitat for grassland birds in the case of upland sandpiper, Henslow’s sparrow and northern harrier and potential loss of overwintering habitat for shorteared owls.

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Maple Ridge Wind Project, New York. Pre-existing land-use intact following project development with agricultural, woodland and grassland habitats present within Project Area.

Modern suburban housing development. Footprint largely removes pre-existing native and non-native habitats and land use.

Altamont Wind Farm, California. Infrastructure arrayed almost exclusively in grassland with minimal alteration to the landscape or pre-existing land use resulting from construction or operation of the facility.

Figure 3.4. Photographs of land use and landcover following development of modern wind energy facilities and suburban housing development in grassland and mixed-agricultural settings.

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3.4.2 Non-Raptor Bird Displacement The presence of wind turbines may alter the landscape so that wildlife use patterns or behavior are affected, displacing wildlife away from the project facilities and suitable habitat. Some studies from wind energy facilities in Europe consider displacement effects to have a greater impact on birds than collision mortality (Gill et al. 1996). The greatest concern with displacement impacts for wind energy facilities in the U.S. has been where these facilities have been constructed in grassland or other native habitats where tall structures such as turbines do not normally occur (Leddy et al. 1999, Mabey and Paul 2007). Results from studies at the Stateline wind energy facility in Washington and Oregon (Erickson et al. 2004a) and the Buffalo Ridge wind energy facility in Minnesota (Johnson et al. 2000a) suggest that breeding birds may be affected by wind facility operations. Studies concerning displacement of non-raptor species have largely concentrated on grassland passerines and waterfowl/waterbirds (Larsen and Madsen 2000, Mabey and Paul 2007, Winkelman 1990). Wind energy facility construction appears to cause small scale local displacement of grassland passerines and is likely due to the birds avoiding habitat disturbed by construction, turbine noise, and/or maintenance activities. It is not anticipated that the SLW Project will result in higher levels of displacement compared with observed effects from other studies. Most studies of displacement of non-raptor species have concentrated on grassland passerines and waterfowl. Wind energy facility construction appears to cause small-scale local displacement of some grassland passerines; however, displacement at larger scales has not been reported. Leddy et al. (1999) surveyed bird densities in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands at the Buffalo Ridge wind energy facility in Minnesota, and found that mean densities of 10 grassland bird species were four times higher in areas located 180 m (591 ft) from turbines than they were in grasslands nearer turbines; however, the study did not account for differences in habitat type at varying distances from turbines. Johnson et al. (2000a) found reduced use of habitat within 100 m of turbines by seven of 22 grasslandbreeding birds following construction of the Buffalo Ridge facility. At the Stateline wind-energy facility in Oregon and Washington, use of areas <50 m from turbines by grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) was reduced by approximately 60%, with no reduction in use >50 m from turbines (Erickson et al. 2004a). At the Combine Hills facility in Oregon, use of areas within 150 m of turbines by western meadowlark was reduced by 86%, compared to a 12.6% reduction in use of reference areas over the same time period (Young et al. 2005). Horned larks, however, showed significant increases in use of areas near turbines at both of these facilities, likely because this species prefers areas of bare ground such as those created by turbine pads and access roads (Beason 1995). At the Buffalo Ridge facility in Minnesota, the abundance of several bird types, including shorebirds and waterfowl, was found to be significantly lower at survey plots with turbines than at reference plots without turbines (Johnson et al. 2000a). The report concluded that the area of reduced use was limited primarily to those areas within 100 m of the turbines. These results are similar to those described by Osborn et al. (1998), who reported that birds at Buffalo Ridge avoided flying in areas with turbines. Devreaux et al. (2008) found no effects of turbines on the distribution or relative abundance of farmland birds, including granivores, at distances of >250 m. Pearce-Higgins (2009) found golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria) and wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) avoided turbines out to 200 m, whereas avoidance by snipe (Gallinago gallinago) extended to 400 m in a study conducted in British uplands. Populations of mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) at the Foote Creek Rim wind energy facility in Wyoming initially declined during construction but have partially recovered to pre-construction levels. It is not known whether population changes were responses to the wind energy facility or regional changes in mountain plover populations. Nonetheless, during post-construction nest surveys 11 of 28 nests found (39%) were located within 75 m (246 ft) of turbines, suggesting displacement effects to breeding mountain plovers may be minimal and the birds habituated to the turbines post-construction (Young et al. 2005).

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind 3.4.3 Raptor Displacement Most studies on raptor displacement at wind energy facilities indicate effects appear to be restricted to small spatial scales. A before-after/control impact (BACI) study of avian use at the Buffalo Ridge wind energy facility in Minnesota found evidence of northern harriers avoiding turbines on both a small scale (less than 100 meters [m; 328 feet (ft)] from turbines) and a larger scale (range of 105 - 5,364 m [345 – 17,598 ft]) in the year following construction (Johnson et al. 2000a). Two years following construction, however, no large-scale displacement of northern harriers was detected. In North America, the only published report of avoidance of wind turbines by nesting raptors occurred at the Buffalo Ridge facility, where raptor nest density on 101 square miles (mi2 [261.6 square kilometers (km2)]) of land surrounding the facility was 5.94 nests/39 mi2 (5.94 nests/101.0 km2); yet no nests were present in the 12 mi2 (31.1 km2) facility itself, even though habitat was similar (Usgaard et al. 1997). A recent study from the United Kingdom suggests a reduction of 52.5% in apparent density of hen harriers5 within 800 m of wind turbines; however, the study did not measure breeding success proximate to turbines (an artifact of regulatory protection of harriers restricting turbine construction within the vicinity of known harrier nests; Pearce-Higgins 2009). The Pearce-Higgins (2009) study also demonstrated avoidance of turbines by harriers up to distances of 250 m; however, flight behavior of harriers and other raptors measured in the vicinity of turbines did not differ with control groups. Data on the effects of wind energy on raptor nesting productivity is sparse, though encouraging. At a wind energy facility in eastern Washington, based on extensive monitoring using helicopter flights and ground observations, raptors still nested in the study area at approximately the same levels after construction, and several nests were located within a half-mile (0.8 km) of turbines (Erickson et al. 2004a). Howell and Noone (1992) found similar numbers of raptor nests before and after construction of Phase 1 at the Montezuma Hills wind energy facility in California, and anecdotal evidence indicates that raptor use of the Altamont Pass wind energy facility in California may have increased since installation of wind turbines (Orloff and Flannery 1992, AWEA 1995). At the Foote Creek Rim wind energy facility in southern Wyoming, one pair of red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) nested within 0.3 miles (0.5 km) of the turbine strings, and seven red-tailed hawk nests, one great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) nest, and one golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) nest located within one mile (1.6 km) of the facility successfully fledged young (Johnson et al. 2000b, WEST unpublished data). The golden eagle pair successfully nested a half-mile (0.8 km) from the facility for three years after the project became operational. 3.4.4 Determination of Indirect Impacts on Grassland Birds These studies suggest that there will be limited displacement of target grassland birds at the SLW Project. Indirect impacts of wind turbines on birds have generally revealed small scale spatial scale effects, with the largest spatial scale for significant reduction in abundance noted at distances up to 400 m for a nonraptor species and 250 m for a raptor species (Pearce-Higgins 2009). While small spatial scale reductions in abundance of target grassland birds may result from construction of the SLW Project, other preexisting anthropogenic impacts to the larger landscape encompassing the SLW Project have led to significant declines in the populations of many grassland birds (Lazazzero 2006). Many recent landscape alterations are known to have affected the distribution of farmland birds, such as crop type or alterations to non-cropped habitats (determinations of size of grass margins, hedge dimensions, trees within hedges, woodland treatments, etc.) and spraying of pesticides (Hinsley and Bellamy 2000, Whittingham and Evans 2004, Whittingham et al. 2009). Sensitive grassland passerines such as Henslow’s sparrow have been found only at low densities within the SLW Project (Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009) and while construction of the facility may degrade some potential habitat, existing factors (see Section 4.1) have led to pre-existing low densities within the vicinity of the Project.

5

The hen harrier is the same species as the northern harrier; Cirus cyaneus.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Grassland habitat types present in the SLW Project are summarized in Table 3.9. A total of 208.05 acres of grassland habitats will be temporarily impacted by construction of the SLW, while 40.86 acres will be permanently impacted (Table 2.1; Figure 2.1). Among grassland habitat types, pasture/hayfields are affected to the greatest extent in terms of area, with 61 % (126.87 acres) of temporary and 71 % (28.92 acres) of permanent impacts occurring, respectively. Table 3.9. Land cover/land use areas with the potential to provide habitat for target grassland sensitive bird species at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. Classifications from NLCD (USGS NLCD 2001). Classification Description Areas with a mixture of some constructed materials, but mostly vegetation in the form of lawn grasses. Impervious surfaces account Developed, Open Space for <20% of total cover. These areas most commonly include large-lot housing units, parks, golf courses, and vegetation planted in developed settings for recreation or other purposes. Areas dominated by shrubs; less than 5 meters tall with shrub canopy typically > 20% of total vegetation. This class includes true shrubs, Shrub/Scrub young trees in an early successional stage or trees stunted from environmental conditions. Areas dominated by graminoid or herbaceous vegetation, generally > Grassland/Herbaceous 80% of total vegetation. These areas are not subject to intensive management such as tilling, but can be utilized for grazing. Areas of grasses, legumes, or grass-legume mixtures planted for Pasture/Hay livestock grazing or the production of seed or hay crops, typically on a perennial cycle. >20% of total vegetation. Areas used for the production of annual crops, such as corn, soybeans, vegetables, tobacco, and cotton, and also perennial woody crops such Cultivated Crops as orchards and vineyards. >20% of total vegetation. This class also includes all land being actively tilled. Areas where perennial herbaceous vegetation accounts for >80% of Emergent Herbaceous Wetlands vegetative cover and the soil or substrate is periodically saturated with or covered with water. Spatial distribution of all pre-construction observations (Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009, NYSDEC 2009) of target grassland birds were plotted (Figure 3.5) to evaluate observed habitat use. A total of 106 observations were mapped, of which three (3 %) were Henslow’s sparrow, three (3 %) were upland sandpiper, 50 (47 %) were northern harrier and 50 (47 %) were short-eared owls. The distribution of detections of target grassland birds within grassland habitats was analyzed in order to determine where and in what types of habitat the species were observed (Table 3.10; Figures 3.5a-e and 3.6). For all species combined, 41 % (44) occurred within pasture/hay, 23 % (25) within crops, 12 % (13) within developed – low intensity, 7 % (7) within grassland, 7 % (7) within deciduous forest, 6 % (6) within shrub scrub, 3% (3) within developed – open space, and 1 % (1) within woody wetlands. For all species except Henslow’s sparrow observations were most frequent in pasture/hay, followed by croplands for northern harrier and short-eared owls, which comprised the vast majority of observations. Pasture/hayfields and croplands comprised the majority of landcover types found within the SLW Project. Cropland appears more prevalent within the SLW Project compared to the surrounding area. Development of the SLW Project will create economic incentives for farmers to continue to maintain agricultural use of these areas within the SLW Project and thereby maintain habitat for sensitive bird species addressed herein (see Section 5.0). In addition, SLW will implement a mitigation plan to offset

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind direct habitat loss and potential indirect effects resulting from permanent loss of habitats (see Section 5.0). Mitigation will include additional scientific studies to monitor habitat use of sensitive species preand post construction and a conservation easement.

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This figure has intentionally been omitted. Sensitive information is contained in this figure.

Figure 3.5a. Map of all recorded observations of short-eared owl, northern harrier, Henslow’s sparrow and upland sandpiper from St. Lawrence Windpower Project pre-construction surveys as well as NYSDEC surveys, overlaid on NLCD landcover map (USGS NLCD 2001)

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Figure 3.5b. Map of Henslow’s sparrow observations from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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Figure 3.5c. Map of upland sandpiper observations from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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Figure 3.5d. Map of short-eared owl observations from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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Figure 3.5e. Map of northern harrier owl observations from the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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Henslow's sparrow

Upland sandpiper

Northern harrier 1, 2% 1, 2% 11, 22%

1, 33%

1, 33%

3, 6% 26, 52% 2, 67% 2, 67% 8, 16%

Short‐eared owl 5, 10% 14, 28%

All Species Combined 6, 6% 1, 1% 25, 23%
Crops Dev., Low Intensity Deciduous Forest Dev., Open Space Pasture/Hay Woody Wetlands

16, 32% 4, 8%

44, 41%

7, 7%

Grassland Scrub‐shrub

13, 12% 4, 8% 7, 14% 7, 7% 3, 3%

Figure 3.6. Number and percentage of observations of Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, northern harrier and short-eared owl by landcover type (USGS NLCD 2001) at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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Table 3.10. Observations and proportion of use of Henslow’s sparrow, upland sandpiper, northern harrier and shorteared owl by landcover type (USGS NLCD 2001) within the St. Lawrence Windpower Project; all survey data (Kerns et al 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009, NYSDEC 2009). Henslow's Upland Northern Short-Eared All Species Sparrow Sandpiper Harrier Owl Combined # Landcover # Obs % # Obs % Obs % # Obs % # Obs % Crops 11 0.22 14 0.28 25 0.24 Deciduous Forest 3 0.06 4 0.08 7 0.07 Dev., Low Intensity 1 0.33 8 0.16 4 0.08 13 0.12 Dev., Open Space 2 0.67 1 0.33 3 0.03 Grassland 7 0.14 7 0.07 Pasture/Hay 2 0.67 26 0.52 16 0.32 44 0.42 Scrub-shrub 1 0.02 5 0.10 6 0.06 Woody Wetlands 1 0.02 1 0.01

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Primary objectives of pre-construction surveys completed at the SLW Project were to evaluate relative abundance of birds across the proposed Project Area and to identify areas where birds may concentrate. Bird surveys included surveys specifically designed by the NYSDEC (2009) to determine presence/absence of sensitive grassland bird species. Pre-construction surveys were largely completed before a final proposed turbine layout was produced and biological survey results were used for final project planning (see Section 5.0). Therefore, the majority of pre-construction survey points were not arrayed proximate or directly on proposed turbine locations and an evaluation of distributional use from those data is not appropriate. SLW proposes an additional pre-construction survey effort to directly address pre-and post-construction indirect effects to grassland birds (see Section 5.0).

4.0 ANALYSIS OF ACTION ON CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF SPECIES
Data from published manuscripts, publically available reports from monitoring studies, the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008), unpublished data from the NYSDEC, and other sources of information were reviewed to determine whether the SLW Project will, in its entirety, threaten the continued existence of the species in question. This analysis includes consideration of the species’ capability to survive and reproduce, and any adverse impacts of the taking on those abilities based upon: (1) known population trends; (2) known threats to the species; and (3) reasonably foreseeable impacts on the species from other related activities or projects. All available reports from post-construction fatality monitoring studies across the country do not suggest the potential for more than occasional fatalities for northern harrier, short-eared owl and upland sandpiper, while no fatalities of Henslow’s sparrows have been reported to-date (see Section 3.3.1; Table 3.7). In the eastern U.S. and Ontario none of the target grassland bird species have been reported as fatalities, despite the likely presence of target grassland birds at some of the projects completed, including six in New York State (Table 3.4). With the possible exception of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) at the Altamont Pass wind energy facility in California, where an estimated 40–70 golden eagles are killed each year (Hunt 2002, Smallwood and Thelander 2004), no wind energy facilities have been documented to cause potential population declines of any species. No evidence is available which suggests that potential indirect effects of construction or operation of modern commercial wind energy facilities would result in large-scale or population level effects to birds (Devereux et al. 2008) or bats (Horn et al. 2008). Indirect effects are known to affect only some bird species at small-scale distances, with maximum spatial thresholds reported as 400 m for a non-raptor species and 250 m for a raptor species (Pearce-Higgins et al. 2009). The Project will result in only limited loss of potential breeding and over-wintering habitat for the target grassland bird species. State and regional threats to target grassland birds include conversion and alteration of habitat resulting from long-term modifications in farming practices, and decrease in habitat availability resulting from loss of grassland habitats to residential housing development (Lazazzero 2006, McGowan and Corwin 2008). The proposed SLW Project will likely preclude or greatly minimize additional land development within the project area (see Section 3.4.1) and thereby largely preserve current land uses and species richness and composition. 4.1 Henslow’s Sparrow Total adult population size is unknown but has been estimated at between 10,000 – 1,000,000 individuals across their range (Figure 4.1; NatureServe 2009). North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate a large and statistically significant decline survey-wide for the period 1966 - 1998 (-8.1% per year, P = 0.00, N = 146) (Sauer et al. 1999). The decline appears greatest in the central portion of the

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind breeding range and in the northeastern U.S. (USFWS 1987, Sauer et al. 1999). Given its rarity, BBS trends can only be estimated for four individual states: Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin. BBS data from 1966 - 1996 show the highest relative abundance in Ohio (0.20 birds per route). Survey-wide, the relative abundance is 0.15 for same period (n = 149; Sauer et al. 1997). Pennsylvania is the only state where a significant positive population trend has been shown over the past 20 years (Sauer et al. 2005). In Canada, range probably expanded in the early 1900s following clearing of forests; Knapton (1984) noted range contractions, loss of suitable habitat, and population declines. Breeding Bird Survey data from New York indicates that the population may have declined by as much as 18.7% per year between 1980 and 2006 (Figure 4.2; NYNHP 2009, McGowan and Corwin 2008).

Known Locations

Potential Range

Figure 4.1. Range maps for Henslow’s sparrow (NatureServe 2007, NYNHP 2009).

Figure 4.2. New York state distribution of breeding Henslow’s sparrow from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Henslow's sparrow populations occur in central and western New York and in a few locations in the Hudson River Valley (Figures 4.1 and 4.2). Although Jefferson County has the highest known concentration of the species in the state with confirmed, probable and potential breeding birds identified in the area (McGowan and Corwin 2008), the total number of Henslow’s sparrow observed on the nearest Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. 41 November 1, 2010

Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind BBS routes (Philadelphia and Watertown) to the SLW Project has been zero over the last five years for which data are available (2001-2006; Figure 4.3: http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/). The number of confirmed breeding blocks identified in the 2008 New York Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008) for the 2000-2005 census was 10; a significant decline (-84%) from the 1980-1985 census total of 61 (Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.3. Map of Breeding Bird Survey routes in the vicinity of the St. Lawrence Windpower Project. Very few (five) Henslow’s sparrows were identified during the 2006-2007 and 2009 surveys conducted at the SLW Project (Section 3.0; Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009). Observations of Henslow’s sparrow did not include confirmed nesting sightings or confirmed observations of breeding behavior; however, observations in 2009 occurred during the New York breeding season (Tidhar et al. 2009, McGowan and Corwin 2008) and the three birds observed may have included potential nesting individuals. Distribution of these sightings is shown in Figure 3,5b. Based on the project specific data and literature, the projected default take of Henslow’s sparrow at the SLW Project is anticipated to be less than one bird/year averaged over a three year period (Section 3.0). This level of take is not anticipated to cause population-level effects. No good information on the number of Henslow’s sparrow present within the vicinity of the Project is available. No Henslow’s sparrows were identified over the previous five years for which data is available along the two BBS routes located in Jefferson County and closest to the Project; though the BBS does not have a survey structure optimized for detecting the species (McGowan and Corwin 2008). While the general area is known to support a relatively large population of breeding Henslow’s sparrow within New York, BBS and SLW pre-construction data do not suggest that large concentrations are present within the Project Area. The Project Area does not appear to contain landcover unique to the surrounding region or landcover characteristics which would likely concentrate the species within the Project Area; however, the Project

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind does contain suitable habitat. Henslow's sparrows use grasslands that have well-developed litter, relatively high cover of standing dead residual vegetation, tall, dense vegetation and generally low woody stem densities (Herkert et al. 2003). Henslow's sparrow habitat is characterized by a high percentage of grass cover and scattered forbs for song perches. Henslow's sparrows may use idle hay fields or wet meadows (Herkert et al. 2003), and may tolerate lightly to moderately grazed pastures (NatureServe 2005). Field size has been identified as an important component of Henslow's sparrow habitat; area was found to be the best predictor of occurrence in grasslands in New York, with observations of the species primarily occurring in fields with ≥30 ha of contiguous grassland (Herkert et al. 2003). The most significant threat to Henslow's sparrows is the loss of suitable grassland habitat. Many farmers have intensified their farming practices, converted hay fields to row crops, or abandoned farming altogether. Remaining hay fields are often mowed earlier and more frequently to increase production. As a result, the mortality rate of nests and young in those fields is high, and sometimes adults are killed during mowing (Herkert et al. 2003). Within the New York range of the species, grasslands are becoming more scattered and isolated, reducing habitat connectivity, while wetland loss is also a detrimental factor because nests are sometimes located nearby damp or wet meadows (NYNHP 2009). As farms are abandoned they are lost to development or the land reverts to shrub lands and forests (McGowan and Corwin 2008). The SLW Project will preserve farming practices on the majority of lands contained within the Project Area (see Section 3.4.1). 4.2 Upland Sandpiper This species has declined dramatically both in distribution and abundance since the mid-1980s, both regionally and within New York State (McGowan and Corwin 2008). The overall statewide distribution has decreased 65% (Figures 4.4 and 4.5), while abundance (based on BBS data) has declined by about 16% per year in New York (Figure 4.4; McGowan and Corwin 2008). The primary threats of agricultural conversion, fragmentation, and intensification are ongoing and expected to increase. Upland sandpipers are sensitive to habitat fragmentation (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Currently, the loss and fragmentation of agricultural grasslands due to increased urbanization, changes in farming practices (earlier and more frequent mowing, increased cultivation of row crops), and natural forest succession of abandoned farmlands pose the most serious threats to this species (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Although Jefferson County has a high concentration of the species in the state with confirmed, probable and potential breeding birds identified in the area (McGowan and Corwin 2008), the total number of upland sandpipers observed on the nearest BBS routes (Philadelphia and Watertown) to the SLW Project has been 0.2 birds per year per route over the last five years for which data is available (1997-2006; Figure 4.3: http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/). The number of confirmed breeding blocks identified in the 2008 New York Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008) for the 2000-2005 census was 38; a significant decline (-73%) from the 1980-1985 census total of 140 (Figure 4.5). Upland sandpipers use native and tame grasslands, wet meadows, hayland, pastures, planted cover, cropland, highway and railroad rights-of-way, and grassy areas of airports. Primarily, this bird requires large pastures and older fields that have been in hay production for at least 10 years (Dechant et al. 2003a, Bollinger 1995). Habitat characteristics in New York include field size > 30 ha, < 1% shrub cover, 1015% forb cover, very low litter depth, mixed vegetation height (<15 cm & 40 cm+), sparse overall vegetation density, with available perches (Bollinger 1995). In Jefferson County, Lazazzero and Norment (2005) found that upland sandpipers favored large pastures with small perimeter/area ratios (fewer edges), that are homogenous in floristic structure (few plant species), with nearby barns and fenceposts for perching. Occurrence continued to increase even at the largest field size (> 500 ha), indicating that smaller fields, even with the appropriate mosaic of vegetation elements, will unlikely be used for breeding by this species (NYNHP 2009).

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Known Locations

Potential Range

Figure 4.4. Range maps for upland sandpiper (NatureServe 2007, NYNHP 2009).

Figure 4.5. New York state distribution of breeding upland sandpiper from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008).

The projected take of upland sandpipers at the SLW Project is anticipated to be one bird/year averaged over a three year period (Section 3.0). This level of take is not anticipated to cause population-level effects. Limited numbers of upland sandpipers have been observed over the previous five years for which data is available along the two BBS routes located in Jefferson County and closest to the Project. While the general area is known to support a relatively large population of breeding upland sandpipers within New York (McGowan and Corwin 2008), BBS and SLW pre-construction data do not suggest that large concentrations are present within the Project Area. The species has been documented as a fatality at only a single study located in Nebraska, where population trends and overall habitat availability significantly differ from the SLW vicinity (see Sauer et al. 2009). The Project does not appear to contain unique landcover to the surrounding region or landcover characteristics which would likely concentrate the species within the Project area; however, the Project

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind does contain suitable habitat. The SLW Project will not result in large-scale alterations to potential breeding habitat for the species. Two individuals were observed during the spring, including one individual exhibiting breeding behavior, in addition to one individual sighted during the summer, which also exhibited breeding behavior. Distribution of these observations is shown in Figure 3.5c. 4.3 Short-eared Owl One of the most widely distributed owls in North America, the short-eared owl is an open country, ground-nesting species that inhabits marshes, grasslands, and tundra throughout much of North America. Short-eared owls require large, open grassland or wetland areas, such as native prairie, hayland, retired cropland, small-grain stubble, shrubsteppe, and wet-meadow zones of wetlands. The species tends to prefer habitats with some water which may be due to the habitat preference of voles, its primary prey. During the winter months, short-eared owls use habitats similar to those of the breeding season. They also can be found at old dumps and airports where rodent populations may be high. They may move further south during winters with deep snow cover (NYNHP 2009). Local occurrence is unpredictable, as populations fluctuate yearly due to variation in small-mammal populations. Given sufficient habitat and food supply, short-eared owls are able to colonize new areas (Dechant et al. 2003c). Studies in North Dakota populations indicate they are seldom observed in habitat blocks <100 ha (Johnson, D.H, unpublished data). In Illinois, nests were found in blocks of managed grassland as small as 28 ha (Herkert et al. 1999). However, the authors suggested that short-eared owl may be responding more to the total amount of grassland available in the surrounding landscape than to the sizes of individual grassland fragments; small fragments may be used if located close to larger blocks of contiguous grassland. In the northeast, short-eared owl breeding territory size has been found to generally decrease with increasing vole density (Dechant et al. 2003c). New York is the southern edge of the short-eared owl breeding range in the eastern U.S., with the exception of some scattered breeding records as far south as Virginia (Figures 4.6 and 4.7). The breeding range in the state is generally limited to the St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain valleys, the Great Lakes Plains, and marshes along the south shore of Long Island. Between the fall and spring, the number of short-eared owl observations increases as northern populations migrate south, possibly in search of food. Significant numbers of wintering short-eared owl are in the Finger Lakes and the Lake Ontario plains, especially in Jefferson County, at scattered locations in the Hudson Valley, and the south shore of Long Island (NYNHP 2009).

Known Locations

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Figure 4.6. Range maps for short-eared owl (NatureServe 2007, NYNHP 2009). Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. 45 November 1, 2010

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Figure 4.7. New York state distribution of short-eared owl from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008). The SLW Project has the potential to impact wintering SEOW, with a projected take of one individual per year averaged over a three year period (see Section 3.0). Wintering short-eared owls are known to occur within the Project Area, based on telemetry and observations collected by NYSDEC (2009). Northwestern New York supports relatively low populations of wintering short-eared owl compared with other regions of the U.S. based on Christmas Bird Count data (Figure 4.8; USGS 2010). Wintering shorteared owls are concentrated in substantially greater density in the northwestern U.S., where documented turbine collision fatalities have occurred during the winter (Figure 4.3.3 and Section 3.0). The NYSDEC identified several wintering roost sites for short-eared owls in and around the SLW Project (Figure 4.9; Smith 2009). Four roost sites identified by NYSDEC within the SLW Project Area (CV1-4) were incorporated into project planning (see Section 5.0). Survey data collected through direct observations of roost sites and driving surveys of the area by the NYSDEC indicate that short-eared owls were present at the SLW between as early as October 31 and as late as April 19 during 2006-2009 surveys (Smith 2009). Most observations occurred during December, followed by April, with the least number observed during March6. It is likely that wintering short-eared owl occupying the SLW are largely Canadian residents which winter in the St. Lawrence Valley to take advantage of better foraging conditions, less snow cover, and/or prey availability compared with breeding areas.

Observation schedules for NYSDEC are not known at this time and therefore the influence of sampling effort on temporal patterns or relative abundance cannot be assessed.

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Figure 4.8. Abundance of wintering short-eared owls as determined through Christmas Bird Count Results (USGS 2010).

This figure has intentionally been omitted. Sensitive information is contained in this figure.

Figure 4.9. Wintering short-eared owl roost sites identified by the NYSDEC during 2006-2009 surveys (Smith 2009). CV indicates terminology used by the NYSDEC to identify roost sites in the Cape Vincent (CV) area. No records exist for breeding short-eared owl within the SLW Project or the immediate area based on preconstruction survey results (Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009) in addition to historical results from the nearest two BBS (Philadelphia and Watertown) routes (1966-2006; Figure 4.3: http://www.mbrpwrc.usgs.gov/). All short-eared owl sightings recorded within the SLW Project are shown in Figure 3.5d. The most significant threat to short-eared owls is habitat loss due to development, reforestation, wetland loss, and changes in farming practices such as conversion of hay fields to row crops or more frequent mowing of hay fields.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind 4.4 Northern Harrier Northern harrier populations in New York appear relatively stable based on the New York Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008), though national population trends based on BBS data indicate annual declines of 1.7 % per year since 1966 (Sauer et al. 2005). New York is the southeastern extent of the North American breeding population, though numerous probable (229) and confirmed (126) breeding blocks were confirmed during the 2008 Breeding Bird survey (McGowan and Corwin 2008; Figures 4.10 and 4.11). Northern harrier populations vary with rodent populations, peaking about every five years (Dechant et al. 2003b). Nesting has been confirmed in the western Great Lakes Plains, open habitats of the Adirondacks, western Finger Lakes, Long Island, and the Hudson, Saint Lawrence, and Lake Champlain valleys (Figure 4.10; NYNHP 2009). Declines in breeding populations have been noted in the Adirondacks, Coastal Lowlands, St. Lawrence Plains, and Tug Hill Plateau, while there have been increases in the number of confirmed nest sites in the Champlain Valley to the northern Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley, and Appalachian Plateau (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Overall, BBS data show a possible decline of 3.8% per year between 1980 and 2006, although these findings were not found to be statistically significant. Non-breeding populations appear to be their highest during spring and fall migration, and pre-construction survey results at the SLW Project are consistent with this temporal use pattern. Wintering populations fluctuate with prey abundance and snow cover, but appear to be fairly stable (NYNHP 2009).

Known Locations

Potential Range

Figure 4.10. Range maps for short-eared owl (NatureServe 2007, NYNHP 2009).

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Figure 4.11. New York state distribution of breeding northern harrier from the New York Breeding Bird Atlas (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Northern harriers prefer relatively open habitats characterized by tall, dense vegetation, and abundant residual vegetation. They use native or tame vegetation in wet or dry grasslands, fresh to alkali wetlands, lightly grazed pastures, croplands, fallow fields, old fields and brushy areas. Although cropland and fallow fields are used for nesting, most nests are found in undisturbed wetlands or grasslands dominated by thick vegetation (Dechant et al. 2003b). Size of nesting habitat area seems to be variable as indicated by different studies. However, it is suggested that the total amount of grassland available in the surrounding landscape, rather than the sizes of individual grassland fragments, may be a factor; small fragments may be used if located close to larger blocks of contiguous grassland (Herkert et al. 2003). Studies in Conservation Reserve Program fields in North Dakota indicated that northern harriers were uncommon in blocks of contiguous grassland <100 ha (Johnson, D. H., unpublished data). In Illinois, grassland size did not influence nest placement and northern harriers nested in grassland fragments ranging from 8 to 120 ha. One nest per 11-54 ha was typical in a North Dakota study. In the tallgrass prairie of southwestern Missouri, nesting density was 121 ha/pair, whereas, in Manitoba, males defended 28 ha, centered on the nest (Dechant et al. 2003b). One of the most significant threats to northern harrier populations in New York is the loss of suitable grassland habitat as many farmers have intensified their farming practices, converted hay fields to row crops, or abandoned farming altogether. Reforestation of abandoned farmland and conversion to development decreases habitat suitability. Another significant threat is the loss of wetland habitat by draining, dredging, and filling marshes. Remaining habitat is often degraded by fragmentation, exotic plants, and nutrient enrichment (NYNHP 2009). Permanent habitat loss resulting from construction of the SLW Project will be low (40.86 acres). Eleven northern harrier were observed during the fall, two during the spring and two during the summer; all observations were of individuals exhibiting non-breeding behavior or during migration seasons. Distribution of these sightings is shown in Figure 3.5e. Take of northern harriers is anticipated to be one individual per year averaged over a three-year period (see Section 3.0). Mortality is anticipated to occur during non-breeding seasons based on increased frequency of observed use of the SLW during migration and over-winter periods during pre-construction studies (Kerns et al. 2007). Take is not anticipated to have population-level effects on the species.

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5.0 ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS
5.1 No Action In the case of the Project, the “no action” alternative assumes that the Project area would continue as active agricultural land, forest, and rural residential property. The “no action” alternative would have no impact on current land use or zoning. It would maintain environmental, socioeconomic and energygenerating conditions as they currently exist and areas within the project would likely be converted to housing developments (see Section 3.4). If the “no action” alternative were selected, no wind energy generating facility and ancillary Project facilities would be built in the Project area. As a result, none of the environmental impacts associated with Project construction and operation would occur. Conversely, if the “no action” alternative were selected, no socioeconomic benefits would accrue to the area. The local economy and community would not benefit from income from construction jobs, lease payments to the landowners, annual tax revenues or PILOT payments. Also, if the “no action” alternative were selected, lands that would be protected by Project construction and operation might be lost to development projects that more negatively impact the local community and environment by destruction of land by housing and industry development. These types of development would be much more destructive of native grasslands, forests, and local agricultural production and would more severely impact natural resources such as available clean water and air, and wildlife thereby, possibly impacting the popular tourist industry found in the area. In addition, if the “no action” alternative were selected, the benefits of adding 76.5 MW of clean, renewable energy to New York State's energy mix would be lost. There would be no offset of the State's reliance on fossil-fuel-fired generators, which contribute to acid rain, smog, greenhouse gases, and other environmental problems. 5.2 Alternate Size of Project St. Lawrence Windpower, LLC has invested significant time and resources in determining the optimal project configuration. The current Project design consisting of 51 Acciona Windpower 1.5MW wind turbines minimizes potential environmental effects while maintaining an economically viable project. Initially, SLW proposed larger projects (96 turbines in the DEIS and 53 in the SDEIS) and associated project components. SLW has reduced the Project’s scale (51 turbines) to more effectively mitigate impacts on sensitive environmental, agricultural, and cultural resources, while achieving a reasonable balance with the desired energy production goals that ensure economic viability. The same factors that make the Project Site desirable were considered in siting individual turbines. Individual turbines were sited in a manner that sought to minimize or avoid adverse environmental impacts while maximizing the utilization of wind resources and, as a result, the commercial viability of the proposed Project. The proposed wind turbines and associated facilities on the site have been located so as to minimize loss of active agricultural land and/or interference with agricultural operations. Turbines have also been sited to minimize impacts to forests, wetlands, adjacent landowners and local municipal districts (e.g., Riverfront, Lake). 5.3 Avoidance Measures The proposed Project layout has been designed to maximize use of the area’s high wind energy, while minimizing wake effects on downwind turbines and adverse environmental impacts. Location of turbines and associated facilities reflects input and recommendations provided by project ecological, visual, and

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind noise consultants, as well as agency personnel who have visited the site (e.g., Cape Vincent Planning Board, New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, NYSDEC, and USACE). The proposed layout represents the culmination of an iterative process that considers numerous constraints and results in a balance of energy production and environmental protection. Overall, the construction, both temporary and permanent, and operational footprints for the 51-turbine alternative are smaller and would result in fewer environmental impacts. The 51-turbine alternative results in a 47 percent turbine density reduction from the original 96-turbine Project, and decreased impacts to wetlands, surface waters, water quality, grasslands, and wildlife habitat. Further reductions in the Project’s electrical generation output would undermine the economic viability of the Project. Construction and operation of the proposed Project will likely result in minor, temporary impacts to some sensitive species habitats. During construction, clearing and work activities during the nesting season in open habitats would temporarily displace nesting and foraging individuals from the work area and suitable adjacent habitats. Construction activities in determined areas which could result in the disturbance or destruction of bird nests during the breeding season will be avoided through restriction of construction activities to the non-breeding season (August 1 – April 15). Pre-construction bird surveys were designed to assist Project planning through identification of high use areas, or portions of the Project which may have topographical, environmental or biological features which have elevated potential for nesting birds. The pre-project studies did not identify any high bird use areas that suggested project modifications to minimize impacts. Project planning incorporating existing data on sensitive grassland species and short-eared owl use of portions of the Project Area resulted in the movement of a number of proposed roads and turbine locations in order to avoid potential impact of the Project on documented habitat for short-eared owls. Five turbines and their associated roads, along with one other access road, were re-located during Project planning to edge areas and away from known short-eared owl concentration areas (based on available NYSDEC data; NYSDEC Region 6; Figure 4.9). To be more specific, the following measures were implemented on short-eared owl (SEOW) wintering concentration areas CV1 – CV4: • SEOW Winter Roosting Site CV-4: o SLW eliminated turbine T-38 as requested by DEC. o In response to eliminating T-38, T-39 was moved. T-39 moved to the north, farther away from the roosting site. o SLW moved T-40 and T-41 away from the roosting site as well, as requested by DEC. Access roads to these turbines will follow hedgerows and forest edges, to avoid impacts to SEOW. o SLW moved T-37 to the south as much as it could be moved, without causing wind turbulence issues with T-36. SEOW Winter Roosting Site CV-2: o SLW has attempted to move T-18 and T-24 out of the roosting site; however, because of turbulence issues in the area, and between turbines, no significant moves could reasonably be made to respond to the concerns of DEC. SLW notes that T-18 is along a hedgerow and not in the middle of a field, which should minimize impacts to the SEOW. T-24 is just near the edge of the known roosting site, and does not appear to be in the middle of a field, but more along an edge of a scrub area. SEOW Winter Roosting Site CV-3:

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind o T-31 could not be moved closer to the forest edge because of turbulence issues between the turbine and the trees, relating to wind direction. However, SLW moved the access road to T-25 out of the middle of the field and extended the access road from T-31 all the way to T-25 instead.

SEOW Roosting Site CV-1 thru CV-4: o As requested by DEC, construction of cables, roads, and turbines inside the known roosting sites will occur only between August 1 and October 20, to avoid impacts to SEOW.

5.4 Minimization Measures During Project construction, bird nests located on or along Project roads, turbine pads or other infrastructure during the breeding season for most birds in the region (McGowan and Corwin 2008; April 15 – August 1) will be noted and marked by a Project biologist in order to minimize the risk that active nests would be destroyed. All construction employees will receive training pertaining to sensitive environmental issues and known nesting areas on the site (SLW 2010). A professional environmental monitor will provide expertise and guidance, and ensure the enforcement of environmental protection criteria outlined in the permits. During operations, the site manager will notify and train all SLW personnel of the location of nests located within infrastructure. Preventative measures will be taken to minimize the risk of destruction of the nest (e.g. flagging, signs or cone placement) and avoidance of the nest site to minimize disturbance of the nest will be implemented to the extent feasible SLW will fund an operational (post-construction) monitoring program (see Sections 5.5 and 6.1). 5.5 Monitoring Compliance The SLW Project has developed a long-term, project lifespan Wildlife Protection Plan (SLW 2010) which includes detailed study protocols and descriptions for monitoring potential impacts to species, including those in this Article 11 Permit Application ( see Appendix C). Monitoring direct impacts to species identified herein includes a post-construction scientific monitoring study designed to estimate direct impacts of the operating project in terms of mortality rates of birds and bats caused by collisions with wind turbines. This monitoring study will be conducted in accordance with NYSDEC Guidelines (2009; see SLW 2010. This study will be used to rigorously monitor take of species included herein. The operational monitoring plan for the Project will consist of the following components: (1) A three year study of direct impact monitoring, with each year involving standardized carcass searches, carcass removal, and searcher efficiency trials. The study will be conducted in accordance with NYSDEC Guidelines between April 15 – October 31 during each of the three years, and at lower intensity between November 1 – March 15 to document short-eared owl casualties during the over-winter period; and (2) A one year study to measure the extent of post-construction raptor migration. In addition, SLW will implement operational monitoring for fatalities (see Section 6.2).

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6.0 MITIGATION MEASURES
The proposed Project will encourage continued farming activities in the area by supplementing area farmers’ incomes. This will also result in the maintenance of open grassland habitats since the regional climate favors a traditional late season harvest which is beneficial for grassland birds. The Project would result in grassland areas being protected from other development (i.e., housing developments) that might permanently eliminate grasslands in the area. Mitigation for habitat loss has been performed through siting Project components to minimize areas of disturbance and restoring all temporarily disturbed areas. The Project operator will fund conservation easements in the region for the permanent or long-term protection of areas containing grasslands and other areas of high value conservation value for sensitive bird species. SLW is currently proposing to secure a conservation easement of approximately 166 acres in the southwestern portion of the project area; an area containing a high proportion of potential grassland bird habitat (see Section 6.2). This conservation easement is designed to mitigate potential indirect effects of construction and operation of the SLW Project which will result in permanent loss of habitat for grassland bird species included herein. This conservation easement may result in the increased recruitment and or productivity of threatened grassland bird species due to habitat management practices implemented (see Section 6.2). Increased productivity of these species will result in: (1) mitigation for take of individuals resulting from operation of the SLW Project, and; (2) net conservation benefit for species included herein. In addition, other sensitive grassland species (e.g. grasshopper sparrow, Eastern meadowlark, and savannah sparrow) are likely to benefit from long-term habitat improvements conducted within the conservation easement. SLW will supplement mitigation through voluntary funding of additional scientific studies not requested by the NYSDEC under wind-energy study guidelines (NYSDEC 2009), and monitor the efficacy of the mitigation plan through: (1) development of a Wildlife Protection Plan for the SLW Project (SLW 2010); (2) additional scientific studies; (3) construction and (4) operational monitoring, and; (5) compliance monitoring (see Section 5.5). The Wildlife Protection Plan (SLW 2010) includes detailed study protocols for studies proposed here, but brief descriptions are included below. Scientific studies and monitoring will help address the following questions: a. Did the impacts to wildlife anticipated prior to construction actually occur? b. Were appropriate mitigation measures for anticipated mitigation conceived and implemented? c. Did mitigation measures have the affect hoped for? d. What other impacts are occurring that were not anticipated? e. Are there actions that may be taken that could help to reduce unexpected impacts? 6.1 Scientific Monitoring Studies Scientifically designed monitoring studies will be implemented to estimate the potential avoidance or displacement effects of the wind project on migrant raptors, wintering short-eared owls and grassland birds. These studies will be used to inform Project adaptive management and inform future wind energy project developments in New York. The scientific monitoring studies for the Project will consist of the following components:

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind (1) A three year grassland bird displacement study; and (2) A three year short-eared owl study to measure short-eared owl use of the SLW and the surrounding area. 6.1.1 Bird Habituation and Avoidance Study A grassland breeding bird displacement study will be conducted at the facility to evaluate potential indirect impacts from the project. This study will include monitoring of the proposed conservation easement in addition to the Project Area (see Section 6.4). Pre-construction point count surveys for breeding birds were conducted in the project area during the baseline studies. Results of these surveys provided some baseline information about grassland nesting birds in the area but followed a slightly different approach than proposed here (Kerns et al. 2007). Additional pre-construction surveys will be conducted in the spring season preceding construction to provide baseline information specific to the proposed post-construction methods. These surveys will be repeated the first two years of operation, and at least one additional year (either third, fourth or fifth year). The study approach involves a combination of a gradient analysis study design and the Before/After study design (Morrison et al. 2001). Songbird density data and vegetation data are collected along a continuum (transect) from the turbines out to 300 m, as well as at reference transects that do not include turbines. The before and after periods are incorporated by conducting an analysis of the changes in relative abundance (densities) from the pre- to post-construction periods. For example, differences between grassland bird densities during the post-construction period and the pre-construction period for each 50-m segment can be calculated. The averages of these differences by distance category can be compared against the null hypothesis value of zero using t-tests and confidence intervals to test whether a change in density is statistically significant and to identify the distance from the turbines at which it occurred. 6.1.2 Wintering Short-eared Owl Study A study will be conducted to determine the extent of use and evaluate potential indirect effects of the Project on wintering short-eared owls. The study will be designed to be comparable with results of previous NYSDEC short-eared owl studies in Region 6 (see Section 3.0) and will be developed in consultation with the NYSDEC. The study will consist of a pre- and post-construction use survey of short-eared owls throughout the Project area as well as reference areas located in a conservation easement which will be funded by SLW (see Section 6.4). The study will be designed to measure relative abundance of short-eared owls as well as measure potential indirect effects. Additional pre-construction surveys will be conducted in winter to provide baseline information specific to the proposed postconstruction methods. These surveys will be repeated the first two years of operation, and at least one additional year (either third, fourth or fifth year). 6.2 Construction Monitoring SLW will implement measures to mitigate the potential impacts of construction activity on wildlife and their habitats. A training manual for construction personnel will be drafted which will include a map of high-value wildlife areas, areas where sensitive wildlife species may occur, and information (fact) sheets about the sensitive species of concern. Sensitive wildlife areas will be highlighted to raise awareness of construction personnel to the potential presence of Blanding’s turtle and sensitive bird and bat species. The objective of this measure is to minimize the risk of direct mortality to individuals, the loss of nests and/or critical habitat. In addition to the map, the training manual will include a brief description and photographs of each of the target sensitive species. Should construction personnel note the presence of target species or nests within their area of operation, the Biological Monitor will be immediately notified. The Biological Monitor will assess the situation, and advise the Construction foreman immediately. The Biological Monitor will then alert the Acciona Regional Environmental Manager. If necessary, other

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind appropriate mitigation measures will then be employed, including such measures as bio-monitoring or temporary setbacks. High use areas for target sensitive wildlife will be posted to provide additional cues for awareness among construction personnel. These signs will include “Caution! Wildlife” signs. 6.3 Long-Term On-Site Monitoring The objective of long-term on-site monitoring at SLW is to provide some estimate of fatality rates of birds and bats at the Project over the course of the life of the Project. With few exceptions, little data exist on the long-term fatality rates from wind-energy projects on birds and bats beyond the timeframes of implemented monitoring studies (typically two or three years following construction). Long-term on-site monitoring at the SLW Project will provide some information on whether the fatality rates exhibited after the first few years of site operation change after five, ten or twenty years of Project operation. SLW operations staff will document any bird and bat carcasses found during the course of routine work. Carcasses found will be documented using a standardized data form, and reported on an annual basis to NYSDEC and USFWS. 6.4 Net Conservation Benefit Net conservation benefit for grassland birds and Indiana bat will be realized as a result of the SLW Project through perpetual conservation of habitats in conservation easements (for details on Indiana bat conservation easements (see WEST 2010). Grassland bird species included in this permit have shown population declines and breeding range contraction in New York State over recent decades in direct response to loss of habitat (Morgan and Burger 2008, McGowan and Corwin 2008). Maintenance of agricultural and grassland mosaics in addition to habitat restoration and improvement have been identified as priorities for conservation of grassland bird species by NYSDEC and Audubon New York (Morgan and Burger 2008). While the SLW Project is anticipated to directly take a small number of individuals (one per year per species included herein), and result in the direct loss of approximately 42 acres of habitat, the Project will result in the following net conservation benefits to species included herein: 1. Economic incentives for existing landowners to maintain current land use practices, predominantly farming. Landcover mapping (USGS NLCD 2001) indicates that cropland is relatively abundant within the SLW Project compared to the surrounding landscape. A significant proportion (23 %) of all sensitive species observations made (Kerns et al. 2007, Tidhar et al. 2009, NYSDEC 2009) occurred within croplands. Economic incentives from wind energy revenues may decrease the likelihood for landowners to sell lands within the Project Area to residential land development, which generally results in adverse habitat impacts to grassland birds (NYNHP 2009, McGowan and Corwin 2008, Morgan and Burger 2008; see Section 3.0). 2. Conservation easement(s) will be developed to provide long term habitat for sensitive grassland bird species and other wildlife which utilize these areas. Based on findings from the Galloo Island Wind Project Article 11 and the analysis included here, a ratio of conservation easement to permanent habitat loss of 4:1 was determined. Based on concerns articulated by the NYSDEC (Ken Kogut, pers. com.), a conservation ratio of 6:1 for direct habitat loss has been proposed, which will total approximately 252 acres of potentially suitable habitats for sensitive grassland birds. At this time, a land parcel of 166 acres has been identified for conservation easement within the SLW Project area to provide perpetual habitat preservation for species included herein (Figure 6.1a) . This conservation easement would offset at a ratio of approximately 4:1 permanent loss of potential grassland sensitive species habitat resulting from the Project. The conservation easement contains a high value mosaic of hayfield/pasture, cropland, grassland, shrub-scrub and deciduous forest habitats which have the potential to support all targeted grassland bird species. Conservation of such areas has been identified as a conservation priority by Audubon New York (Morgan and Burger 2008). Potential breeding habitats for Henslow’s

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind sparrow, upland sandpiper, northern harrier and short-eared owl are available within the easement (Figures 6.1b and 6.2). Potential over-wintering habitat for short-eared owl is present within the easement (Figures 6.1b and 6.3). Additional conservation easement(s) of approximately 86 additional acres are being investigated by the SLW Project outside of the Project Area, to total 252 acres and compensate for permanent habitat loss at the ratio of 6:1. 3. Management practices (see Section 6.4.1) of the conservation easement may yield increased productivity of target sensitive species with the potential to breed within the region (Henslow’s sparrow, northern harrier and upland sandpiper) at a significantly higher ratio than those anticipated to be killed due to collisions with wind turbines at the SLW Project (anticipated at one per year per species included herein; see Section 3.0). The conservation easement has the potential to support a minimum of one Henslow’s sparrow, two upland sandpiper and two northern harrier breeding territories (Section 4.0; Morgan and Burger 2008). 4. The SLW Project will provide educational materials to landowners within the Project Area describing the conservation need for grassland birds in New York and a list of land management practices which land owners may voluntarily implement on their land to benefit grassland birds. These initiatives will follow recommendations made by Audubon New York , the NYSDEC and the USFWS and may include, for instance, annual mowing of grasslands outside the breeding season.

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This figure has intentionally been omitted. Sensitive information is contained in this figure.

Figure 6.1a. Map of proposed conservation easement for sensitive grassland birds at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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This figure has intentionally been omitted. Sensitive information is contained in this figure.

Figure 6.1b. Map of proposed conservation easement for sensitive grassland birds at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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Figure 6.2. Photographs taken March 22, 2010 of proposed conservation easement for sensitive grassland birds at the St. Lawrence Windpower Project.

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6.4.1 Conservation Easement This section related to the conservation easement currently identified by the SLW Project for 166 acres. Additional conservation easement(s) for 86 acres are being investigated at this time. The SLW Project reviewed existing management recommendations for grassland birds in New York (Morgan and Burger 2008) during project planning. Recommendations made by Audubon New York (Morgan and Burger 2008) include identification and evaluation of proposed conservation areas for grassland birds. Evaluation criteria outlined in Morgan and Burger (2008) for determining the nature and likely effectiveness of the proposed conservation easement were evaluated (Figure 6.3): (1) the SLW Project lies within a Focal Area for grassland birds within the state; (2) management regimes may be considered on non-habitat areas of the easement; (3) the area exceeds minimum effective size parameters for the species targeted; and (4) is of suitable spatial characteristics (Morgan and Burger 2008).

Figure 6.3. Process for deciding between grassland and shrubland/early successional habitat projects (adapted from Morgan and Burger 2008 and the New York Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program planning process). Vegetation characteristics of the conservation easement are only generally understood at this time; however, the site appears to contain a low shrub component and many grassland plants which are associated with the target species. A mosaic of active cropland, shrub/scrub, fallow hay fields and natural or semi-natural grasslands appears present based on landcover maps and aerial photos (Figure 6.1b). The conservation easement will be managed to effectively promote habitats for target grassland species. Management practices will be developed in collaboration with NYSDEC, but recommendations outlined in Morgan and Burger 2009 are proposed here. To prevent degradation of grassland habitat due to succession or invasion by undesirable vegetation, a regular pattern of disturbance (i.e. management) is

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind needed. While mowing or grazing of agricultural lands during the breeding season causes many grassland bird breeding attempts to fail (Perlut et al. 2006), this frequent disturbance also maintains vegetation in a condition attractive to grassland birds, causing those fields to function as ecological traps (Schlaepfer et al. 2002, Shochat et al. 2005). Potential management options and the tradeoffs between management and impacts to breeding bird communities are discussed in some detail Morgan and Burger (2008). Currently, SLW is proposing to mow grasslands within the conservation easement on a two to four year cycle; not during the breeding season defined as April 23-August 15, and as soon as possible after August 15 to maintain optimal vegetation characteristics and decrease the potential for invasive species to occur or proliferate. Grazing at low density by domestic farm animals will also be encouraged. The extent of use of the conservation easement by sensitive grassland species will be monitored as a component of scientific monitoring studies conducted on grassland birds at the SLW Project (see Section 6.1). Results will be analyzed to determine if species composition and/or grassland bird abundance differs between the conservation easement and the SLW Project Area. SLW Project will conduct annual compliance monitoring of the conservation easement to ensure that land management practices are being implemented by the landowner in accordance with the Article 11. Photo documentation taken during the annual compliance checks will be provided to NYSDEC. 6.5 Adaptive Management An adaptive management application will be integrated into the proposed decision-framework regarding mitigating impacts to grassland birds and Indiana bats (see WEST 2010) at the SLW Project. SLW has agreed to undertake a Post-Construction Monitoring Plan for Birds and Bats consistent with NYSDEC Guidelines (2009) in addition to implementing additional studies not included in the NYSDEC Guidelines and enact a Project Wildlife Protection Plan. Currently, the level of impact on species included herein from the Project is unknown but is anticipated to be less than one individual per species per year. A research and monitoring phase will occur for a threeyear period and will be designed to provide data and information on the circumstances and conditions under which impacts to grassland birds from the project occur and the effect of avoidance/minimization measures on those impacts. An evaluation phase will include thoroughly evaluating results of the implementation phase for developing new measures to implement in an effort to avoid/minimize the impacts to grassland birds. In the event that there are no impacts to grassland birds after the three year monitoring period and no changes to the project management are suggested, long-term on-site operational monitoring will be used to document take through the life of the Project. Should indirect effects to grassland birds be documented through the Before/After Control Impact study after the final post-construction study year at an average rate exceeding a 6:1 ratio of disturbance, discussions with NYSDEC will be undertaken to determine whether additional conservation easements are necessary to further offset indirect effects. The adaptive management program is an iterative process that responds to information and data. If uncertainty is eliminated over management actions then the appropriate management is implemented for the life of the project. If uncertainty remains after the initial evaluation, the process is repeated until uncertainty over management is reduced to an acceptable level. The overall goal of the adaptive management plan is to determine means by which to avoid take of grassland birds. The primary objectives to meet this goal are to: (1) determine the level of grassland bird mortality and identify the circumstances and conditions under which fatalities occur; and

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind (2) 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 address the uncertainties around the potential impacts from the project on grassland birds. During the course of and following completion of the each year of the fatality monitoring study, results will be evaluated for adequacy of meeting the objectives and for developing a set of additional project management actions (alternatives) to address the objectives, if needed. If no take has occurred by the end of the third year of operation, the monitoring study will be discontinued and only long-term operational monitoring will continue (see Section 6.3). If take has occurred, the need for continued adaptive management measures will be evaluated with the NYSDEC. 6.6 Funding The conservation easement will be set up and fully instituted prior to commencement of construction of the SLW Project. All mitigation, monitoring and studies included herein will be funded directly by the SLW Project.

7.0 REFERENCES
Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Monitoring Team (APWRA-MT). 2008. Bird Fatality Study at Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area: October 2005 to September 2007. Draft report prepared by the Altamont Pass Avian Monitoring Team, Jones & Stokes, Inc., BioResource Consultants Inc., the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the Predatory Bird Research Group. Prepared for the Alameda County Scientific Review Committee, Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA). January 25, 2008. American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). 1995. Avian Interactions with Wind Energy Facilities: a Summary. Prepared by Colson & Associates for AWEA, Washington, D.C. Anderson, R., N. Neuman, J. Tom, W.P. Erickson, M.D. Strickland, M. Bourassa, K.J. Bay, and K.J. Sernka. 2004. Avian Monitoring and Risk Assessment at the Tehachapi Pass Wind Resource Area, California. Period of Performance: October 2, 1996 - May 27, 1998. NREL/SR-500-36416. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado. September 2004. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/36416.pdf Anderson, R., J. Tom, N. Neumann, W.P. Erickson, M.D. Strickland, M. Bourassa, K.J. Bay, and K.J. Sernka. 2005. Avian Monitoring and Risk Assessment at the San Gorgonio Wind Resource Area. NREL/SR-500-38054. August 2005. Western EcoSytems Technology, Inc. (WEST). Cheyenne, Wyoming. Phase I and II Field Work. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy05osti/38054.pdf Arnett, E. B., technical editor. 2005. Relationships between Bats and Wind Turbines in Pennsylvania and West Virginia: An Assessment of Bat Fatality Search Protocols, Patterns of Fatality, and Behavioral Interactions with Wind Turbines. A final report submitted to the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative. Bat Conservation International. Austin, Texas. http://www.batsandwind.org/pdf/ar2004.pdf Austen, M.J.W. and M.D. Cadman. 1993. Updated Status Report on the Henslow's Sparrow, Ammodramus henslowii, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 22 pp. + appendices.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC). 2006. Suggested Practices for Avian Protection on Power Lines: The State of the Art in 2006. Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER) Final Project Report CEC-500-2006-022. Edison Electric Institute, APLIC, and the California Energy Commission. Washington D.C. and Sacramento, California. Beason, R.C. 1995. Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris). In: The Birds of North America, No. 195. Poole, A. and F. Gill, eds. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia. Bollinger, E.K. 1995. Successional Changes and Habitat Selection in Hayfield Bird Communities. Auk 112: 720-730. Burba, E.A., G.D. Schnell, and J.A. Grzybowski. 2008. Post-Construction Avian/Bat Fatality Study for the Blue Canyon II Wind Power Project, Oklahoma: Summary of Preliminary Findings for 20062007. Interim Report to Horizon Wind Energy. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. August 2004. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 2005. Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM Administered Land in the Western United States. US Department of the Interior (USDOI), BLM, Washington, D.C. http://windeis.anl.gov/ Dechant, J.A., M.F. Dinkins, D.H. Johnson, L.D. Igl, C.M. Goldade, B.D. Parkin, and B.R. Euliss. 2003a. Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds: Upland Sandpiper. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/literatr/grasbird/upsa/upsa.htm (Version 12DEC2003) Dechant, J.A., M.L. Sondreal, D.H. Johnson, L.D. Igl, C.M. Goldade, M.P. Nenneman, and B.R. Euliss. 2003b. Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds: Northern Harrier. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/literatr/grasbird/noha/noha.htm (Version 12AUG2004) Dechant, J.A., M.L. Sondreal, D.H. Johnson, L.D. Igl, C.M. Goldade, M.P. Nenneman, and B.R. Euliss. 2003c. Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds: Short-Eared Owl. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/literatr/grasbird/seow/seow.htm (Version 12DEC2003) Derby, C., A. Dahl, W. Erickson, K. Bay, and J. Hoban. 2007. Post-Construction Monitoring Report for Avian and Bat Mortality at the NPPD Ainsworth Wind Farm. Unpublished report prepared by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the Nebraska Public Power District. Devereux, C.L., M.J.H. Denny, and M.J. Whittingham. 2008. Minimal Effects of Wind Turbines on the Distribution of Wintering Farmland Birds. Journal of Applied Ecology Windfarms and Farmland Birds: 1365-2664. Erickson, W.P., J. Jeffrey, K. Kronner, and K. Bay. 2004a. Stateline Wind Project Wildlife Monitoring Final Report: July 2001 - December 2003. Technical report for and peer-reviewed by FPL Energy, Stateline Technical Advisory Committee, and the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council, by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Walla Walla, Washington, and Northwest Wildlife Consultants (NWC), Pendleton, Oregon. December 2004. http://www.west-inc.com

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Erickson, W.P., J.D. Jeffrey, and V.K. Poulton. 2008. Puget Sound Energy, Wild Horse Wind Facility, Post-Construction Avian and Bat Monitoring. First Annual Report: January - December 2007. Prepared for Puget Sound Energy, Ellensburg, Washington, and the Wild Horse Wind Facility Technical Advisory Committee, Kittitas County, Washington. Prepared by Western EcoSystems Technology Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming. January 2008. Erickson, W.P., G.D. Johnson, M.D. Strickland, and K. Kronner. 2000. Avian and Bat Mortality Associated with the Vansycle Wind Project, Umatilla County, Oregon: 1999 Study Year. Technical report prepared by WEST, Inc. for Umatilla County Department of Resource Services and Development, Pendleton, Oregon. 21pp. http://www.westinc.com/reports/vansyclereportnet.pdf Erickson, W.P., K. Kronner, and B. Gritski. 2003. Nine Canyon Wind Power Project Avian and Bat Monitoring Report. September 2002 – August 2003. Prepared for the Nine Canyon Technical Advisory Committee and Energy Northwest by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Northwest Wildlife Consultants (NWC), Pendleton, Oregon. October 2003. http://www.west-inc.com/reports/nine_canyon_monitoring_final.pdf Fiedler, J.K., T.H. Henry, R.D. Tankersley, and C.P. Nicholson. 2007. Results of Bat and Bird Mortality Monitoring at the Expanded Buffalo Mountain Windfarm, 2005. Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee. https://www.tva.gov/environment/bmw_report/results.pdf Gill, J.P., M. Townsley, and G.P. Mudge. 1996. Review of the Impacts of Wind Farms and Other Aerial Structures Upon Birds. Scottish Natural Heritage Review No. 21. Scottish Natural Heritage. Battleby, United Kingdom. Herkert, J.R., D.L. Reinking, D.A. Wiedenfeld, M. Winter, J.L. Zimmerman, W.E. Jensen, E.J. Finck, R.R. Koford, D.H. Wolfe, S.K. Sherrod, M.A. Jenkins, J. Faaborg, and S.K. Robinson. 2003. Effects of Prairie Fragmentation on the Nest Success of Breeding Birds in the Midcontinental United States. Conservation Biology 17: 587-594. Herkert, J.R., S.A. Simpson, R.L. Westemeier, T.L. Esker, and J.W. Walk. 1999. Response of Northern Harriers and Short-Eared Owls to Grassland Management in Illinois. Journal of Wildlife Management 63: 517-523. Hinsley, S.A. and P.E. Bellamy. 2000. The Influence of Hedge Structure, Management and Landscape Context on the Value of Hedgerows to Birds: a Review. Journal of Environmental Management 60: 33-49. Horn, J.W., E.B. Arnett, and T. Kunz. 2008. Behavioral Responses of Bats to Operating Wind Turbines. Journal of Wildlife Management 72(1): 123-132. Howe, R.W., W. Evans, and A.T. Wolf. 2002. Effects of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats in Northeastern Wisconsin. Prepared by University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, for Wisconsin Public Service Corporation and Madison Gas and Electric Company, Madison, Wisconsin. November 21, 2002. 104 pp. Howell, J.A. and J. Noone. 1992. Examination of Avian Use and Mortality at a U.S. Windpower Wind Energy Development Site, Montezuma Hills, Solano County, California. Final Report to Solano County Department of Environmental Management, Fairfield, California. 41pp. Hunt, W.G. 2002. Golden Eagles in a Perilous Landscape: Predicting the Effects of Mitigation for Wind Turbine Bladestrike Mortality. California Energy Commission (CEC) Consultant Report P50002-043F, CEC Sacramento, California. July 2002. Prepared for CEC, Public Interest Energy Research (PIER), Sacramento, California, by University of California, Santa Cruz, California. http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/2002-11-04_500-02-043F.PDF

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Jain, A. 2005. Bird and Bat Behavior and Mortality at a Northern Iowa Windfarm. M.S. Thesis. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Jain, A., P. Kerlinger, R. Curry, and L. Slobodnik. 2007. Annual Report for the Maple Ridge Wind Power Project: Post-Construction Bird and Bat Fatality Study – 2006. Final Report. Prepared for PPM Energy and Horizon Energy and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Maple Ridge Project Study. Jain, A., P. Kerlinger, R. Curry, and L. Slobodnik. 2008. Annual Report for the Maple Ridge Wind Power Project: Post-Construction Bird and Bat Fatality Study - 2007. Final report prepared for PPM Energy and Horizon Energy and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Maple Ridge Project Study. Jain, A., P. Kerlinger, R. Curry, L. Slobodnik, A. Fuerst, and C. Hansen. 2009a. Annual Report for the Noble Ellenburg Windpark, LLC, Postconstruction Bird and Bat Fatality Study - 2008. Prepared for Noble Environmental Power, LLC by Curry and Kerlinger, LLC. April 13, 2009. Jain, A., P. Kerlinger, R. Curry, L. Slobodnik, J. Histed, and J. Meacham. 2009b. Annual Report for the Noble Clinton Windpark, LLC, Postconstruction Bird and Bat Fatality Study - 2008. Prepared for Noble Environmental Power, LLC by Curry and Kerlinger, LLC. April 13, 2009. Jain, A., P. Kerlinger, R. Curry, L. Slobodnik, and M. Lehman. 2009c. Maple Ridge Wind Power Avian and Bat Fatality Study Report - 2008. Annual Report for the Maple Ridge Wind Power Project, Post-construction Bird and Bat Fatality Study - 2008. Prepared for Iberdrola Renewables, Inc, Horizon Energy, and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Maple Ridge Project Study. Prepared by Curry and Kerlinger, LLC. May 14, 2009. Jain, A., P. Kerlinger, R. Curry, L. Slobodnik, J. Quant, and D. Pursell. 2009d. Annual Report for the Noble Bliss Windpark, LLC, Postconstruction Bird and Bat Fatality Study - 2008. Prepared for Noble Environmental Power, LLC by Curry and Kerlinger, LLC. April 13, 2009. James, R.D. 2008. Erie Shores Wind Farm Port Burwell, Ontario: Fieldwork Report for 2006 and 2007 During the First Two Years of Operation. Report to Environment Canada, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Erie Shores Wind Farm LP - McQuarrie North American and AIM PowerGen Corporation. January 2008. Johnson, G.D., W.P. Erickson, M.D. Strickland, M.F. Shepherd, and D.A. Shepherd. 2000a. Avian Monitoring Studies at the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area, Minnesota: Results of a 4-Year Study. Final report prepared for Northern States Power Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming. September 22, 2000. 212 pp. http://www.west-inc.com Johnson, G.D., W.P. Erickson, M.D. Strickland, M.F. Shepherd, D.A. Shepherd, and S.A. Sarappo. 2002. Collision Mortality of Local and Migrant Birds at a Large-Scale Wind-Power Development on Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30(3): 879-887. Johnson, G.D., W.P. Erickson, and J. White. 2003. Avian and Bat Mortality During the First Year of Operation at the Klondike Phase I Wind Project, Sherman County, Oregon. March 2003. Technical report prepared for Northwestern Wind Power, Goldendale, Washington, by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming. http://www.west-inc.com Johnson, G.D., D.P. Young, W.P. Erickson, C.E. Derby, M.D. Strickland, and R.E. Good. 2000b. Wildlife Monitoring Studies, SeaWest Windpower Plant, Carbon County, Wyoming, 1995-1999. Final report prepared for SeaWest Energy Corporation, San Diego, California, and the Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins, Wyoming, by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming. August 9, 2000. http://www.west-inc.com and http://www.westinc.com/reports/fcr_final_baseline.pdf Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. 65 November 1, 2010

Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Kerlinger, P. 2002. Avian Fatality Study at the Madison Wind Power Project, Madison, New York. Report to PG&E Generating. Kerlinger, P., R. Curry, L. Culp, A. Jain, C. Wilkerson, B. Fischer, and A. Hasch. 2006. PostConstruction Avian and Bat Fatality Monitoring for the High Winds Wind Power Project, Solano County, California: Two Year Report. Prepared for High Winds LLC, FPL Energy by Curry and Kerlinger, LLC. April 2006. Kerlinger, P., R. Curry, A. Hasch, and J. Guarnaccia. 2007. Migratory Bird and Bat Monitoring Study at the Crescent Ridge Wind Power Project, Bureau County, Illinois: September 2005 - August 2006. Final draft prepared for Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe, LLP. May 2007. Kerlinger, P. and J. Dowdell. 2003. Breeding Bird Survey for the Flat Rock Wind Power Project, Lewis County, New York. Prepared for the Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation. Kerns, J. and P. Kerlinger. 2004. A Study of Bird and Bat Collisions at the Mountaineer Wind Energy Facility, Tucker County, West Virginia: Annual Report for 2003. Prepared for FPL Energy and the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center Technical Review Committee. February 14, 2004. Technical report prepared by Curry and Kerlinger, LLC., for FPL Energy and Mountaineer Wind Energy Center Technical Review Committee. Curry and Kerlinger, LLC. 39 pp. http://www.wvhighlands.org/Birds/MountaineerFinalAvianRpt-%203-15-04PKJK.pdf Kerns, J.J., D.P. Young, Jr., C.S. Nations, and V.K. Poulton. 2007. Avian and Bat Studies for the Proposed St. Lawrence Windpower Project, Jefferson County, New York. Interim Report April 2006 – November 2006. Prepared for St. Lawrence Windpower, LLC., Washington, D.C. Prepared by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming. May 2007. Kronner, K., B. Gritski, and S. Downes. 2008. Big Horn Wind Power Project Wildlife Fatality Monitoring Study: 2006−2007. Final report prepared for PPM Energy and the Big Horn Wind Project Technical Advisory Committee by Northwest Wildlife Consultants, Inc. (NWC), MidColumbia Field Office, Goldendale, Washington. June 1, 2008. Kronner, K., B. Gritski, Z. Ruhlen, and T. Ruhlen. 2007. Leaning Juniper Phase I Wind Power Project, 2006-2007: Wildlife Monitoring Annual Report. Unpublished report prepared by Northwest Wildlife Consultants, Inc. for PacifiCorp Energy, Portland, Oregon. Land Use Land Cover (LULC) National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). 2001. NAIP Imagery and Status Maps. Larsen, J.K. and J. Madsen. 2000. Effects of Wind Turbines and Other Physical Elements on Field Utilization by Pink-Footed Geese (Anser brachyrhynchus): A Landscape Perspective. Landscape Ecology 15: 755-764. Lazazzero, S. and C. Norment. 2005. A Multi-Scale Analysis of Grassland Bird Habitat Relations in the St. Lawrence River Valley. SUNY Research Foundation, Brockport, New York. 116 pp. Leddy, K.L., K.F. Higgins, and D.E. Naugle. 1999. Effects of Wind Turbines on Upland Nesting Birds in Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands. Wilson Bulletin 111(1): 100-104. Mabey, S. and E. Paul. 2007. Impact of Wind Energy and Related Human Activities on Grassland and Shrub-Steppe Birds. A Critical Literature Review Prepared for the National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC) and The Ornithological Council. 183 pp. McGowan, K.J. and K. Corwin, eds. 2008. The Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State: 2000-2005. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. 688 pp.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Morgan, M. and M. Burger. 2008. Monitoring the Effectiveness of Grassland Bird Conservation: Efforts and Perspectives from New York on Developing a Grassland Bird Monitoring Program. Audubon New York. Morrison, M.L., W.M. Block, M.D. Strickland, and W.L. Kendall. 2001. Wildlife Study Design. Springer-Verlag NewYork, Inc., New York. National Research Council (NRC). 2007. Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects. National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC). 2004. Wind Turbine Interactions with Birds and Bats: A Summary of Research Results and Remaining Questions. Fact Sheet. 2nd Edition. November 2004. NatureServe. 2005. NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life [Web Application]. Version 4.2. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Accessed 2005. NatureServe. 2007. NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life [Web Application]. Version 5.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Accessed 2005. NatureServe. 2009. NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life [Web Application]. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Updated 2009. Available at: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP). 2009. Species Profiles. NYNHP Conservation Guide. New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). 2008. Guidelines for Agricultural Mitigation for Windpower Projects. Revised January 4, 2008. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). 2009. Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects. Prepared by NYSDEC Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources. August 2009. New York Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). 2009. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Information online at: http://www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip/whip_2009.html Nicholson, C.P. 2003. Buffalo Mountain Windfarm Bird and Bat Mortality Monitoring Report: October 2001 - September 2002. Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee. February 2003. Nicholson, C.P., J. R.D. Tankersley, J.K. Fiedler, and N.S. Nicholas. 2005. Assessment and Prediction of Bird and Bat Mortality at Wind Energy Facilities in the Southeastern United States. Final Report. Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee. Northwest Wildlife Consultants, Inc. (NWC) and Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST). 2007. Avian and Bat Monitoring Report for the Klondike II Wind Power Project. Sherman County, Oregon. Prepared for PPM Energy, Portland, Oregon. Managed and conducted by NWC, Pendleton, Oregon. Analysis conducted by WEST, Cheyenne, Wyoming. July 17, 2007. Orloff, S. and A. Flannery. 1992. Wind Turbine Effects on Avian Activity, Habitat Use, and Mortality in Altamont Pass and Solano County Wind Resource Areas, 1989-1991. Final Report P700-92-001 to Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties, and the California Energy Commission, Sacramento, California, by Biosystems Analysis, Inc., Tiburon, California. March 1992. Osborn, R.G., C.D. Dieter, K.F. Higgins, and R.E. Usgaard. 1998. Bird Flight Characteristics near Wind Turbines in Minnesota. American Midland Naturalist 139: 29-38.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Pearce-Higgins, J.W., L. Stephen, R.H.W. Langston, I.P. Bainbridge, and R. Bullman. 2009. The Distribution of Breeding Birds around Upland Wind Farms. Journal of Applied Ecology 46(6): 1323 - 1331. Perlut, N.G., A.M. Strong, T.M. Donovan, and N.J. Buckley. 2006. Grassland Songbirds in a Dynamic Management Landscape: Behavioral Responses and Management Strategies. Ecological Applications 16: 2235-2247. Piorkowski, M.D. 2006. Breeding Bird Habitat Use and Turbine Collisions of Birds and Bats Located at a Wind Farm in Oklahoma Mixed-Grass Prairie. M.S. Thesis. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. 112 pp. July 2006. http://www.batsandwind.org/pdf/Piorkowski_2006.pdf Sauer, J.R., J.E. Hines, G. Gough, I. Thomas, and B.G. Peterjohn. 1997. The North American Breeding Bird Survey Results and Analysis. Version 96.4. US Geological Survey (USGS), Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Laurel, Maryland. Sauer, J.R., J.E. Hines, I. Thomas, J. Fallon, and G. Gough. 1999. The North American Breeding Bird Survey: Results and Analysis 1966-1998. Version 98.1. US Geological Survey (USGS), Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland. Sauer, J.R., J.E. Hines, and J. Fallon. 2005. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 - 2004. Version 2005.2. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Laurel, Maryland. Schlaepfer, M.A., M.C. Runge, and P.W. Sherman. 2002. Ecological and Evolutionary Traps. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17: 474-480. Shochat, E., M.A. Patten, D.W. Morris, D.L. Reinking, D.H. Wolfe, and S.K. Sherrod. 2005. Ecological Traps in Isodars: Effects of Tallgrass Prairie Management on Bird Nest Success. Oikos 111: 159169. Smallwood, K.S., L. Rugge, and M.L. Morrison. 2009. Influence of Behavior on Bird Mortality in Wind Energy Developments. Journal of Wildlife Management 73(7): 1082–1098. Smallwood, K.S. and C.G. Thelander. 2004. Developing Methods to Reduce Bird Fatalities in the Altamont Wind Resource Area. Final report prepared by BioResource Consultants for the California Energy Commission, Public Interest Energy Research-Environmental Area, under Contract No. 500-01-019 (L. Spiegel, Project Manager). St. Lawrence Windpower, LLC (SLW). 2010. Wildlife Protection Plan for the St. Lawrence Windpower Project, Jefferson County, New York. St Lawrence Windpower Project. Stantec Consulting, Inc. (Stantec). 2008. 2007 Spring, Summer, and Fall Post-Construction Bird and Bat Mortality Study at the Mars Hill Wind Farm, Maine. Prepared for UPC Wind Management, LLC, Cumberland, Maine, by Stantec Consulting, formerly Woodlot Alternatives, Inc., Topsham, Maine. January, 2008. Stantec Consulting, Inc. (Stantec). 2009. Post-Construction Monitoring at the Mars Hill Wind Farm, Maine - Year 2, 2008. Prepared for First Wind Management, LLC, Portland, Maine. Prepared by Stantec Consulting, Topsham, Maine. January 2009. Stanton, B.F. and N.L. Bills. 1996. The Return of Agricultural Lands to Forest: Changing Land Use in the Twentieth Century. E.B. 96-03, Department of Agricultural, Resource, and Managerial Economics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. 132 pp. Tetra Tech EC, Inc. 2007. Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed St. Lawrence Wind Energy Project, Towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme, Jefferson County, New York. Prepared for St. Lawrence Windpower, LLC, Cape Vincent, New York.TetraTech EC, Inc. 2009.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind TetraTech EC, Inc. 2009. Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, St. Lawerence Windpower Project. Cape Vincent Township, Jefferson County, New York. Tidhar et al. 2009. Grassland Bird Survey Report for the St. Lawrence Windpower Project, Jefferson County, New York. Technical report prepared for Acciona by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., Waterbury, Vermont. Tierney, R. 2007. Buffalo Gap I Wind Farm Avian Mortality Study: February 2006-January 2007. Final Survey Report. Prepared for AES SeaWest, Inc. TRC, Albuquerque, New Mexico.TRC Report No. 110766-C-01. May 2007. TRC Environmental Corporation. 2008. Post-Construction Avian and Bat Fatality Monitoring and Grassland Bird Displacement Surveys at the Judith Gap Wind Energy Project, Wheatland County, Montana. Prepared for Judith Gap Energy, LLC, Chicago, Illinois. TRC Environmental Corporation, Laramie, Wyoming. TRC Project 51883-01 (112416). January 2008. http://www.newwest.net/pdfs/AvianBatFatalityMonitoring.pdf URS, W.P. Erickson, and L. Sharp. 2005. Phase 1 and Phase 1A Avian Mortality Monitoring Report for 2004-2005 for the SMUD Solano Wind Project. Prepared for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Sacramento, California. Co-Authors: Wally Erickson, Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST) and Lynn Sharp, Environmental Consultant. August 2005. US Census Bureau (USCB). 2000. Profile of Selected Housing Characteristics: 2000, Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3), Cape Vincent Town, Jefferson County, New York. USCB, American Factfinder. http://factfinder.census.gov US Geological Survey (USGS) National Land Cover Database (NLCD). 2001. Land Use/Land Cover NLCD Data. USGS Headquarters, USGS National Center. Reston, Virginia. Usgaard, R.E., D.E. Naugle, R.G. Osborn, and K.F. Higgins. 1997. Effects of Wind Turbines on Nesting Raptors at Buffalo Ridge in Southwestern Minnesota. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 76: 113-117. Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST). 2006. Diablo Winds Wildlife Monitoring Progress Report, March 2005 - February 2006. Technical report submitted to FPL Energy and Alameda County California. WEST. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST). 2008. Diablo Winds Wildlife Monitoring Progress Report, March 2005 - February 2007. Prepared by WEST, Cheyenne, Wyoming. August 2008. Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST). 2010. Biological Assessment Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis), St. Lawrence Windpower Project, Jefferson County, New York. Technical report prepared for US Army Corps of Engineers and St. Lawrence Wind by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., Waterbury, Vermont. Whitfield, D.P. and M. Madders. 2006. A Review of the Impacts of Wind Farms on Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus and an Estimation of Collision Avoidance Rates. Natural Research Information Note 1 (revised). Natural Research Ltd., Banchory, United Kingdom. Whittingham, M.J. and K.L. Evans. 2004. A Review of the Effects of Habitat Structure on Predation Risk of Birds in Agricultural Landscapes. In: Ecology and Conservation of Lowland Farmland Birds II: The Road to Recovery. Ibis 146(Suppl. 2): 210-220. Whittingham, M.J., J.R. Krebs, R.D. Swetnam, R.M. Thewlis, J.D. Wilson, and R.P. Freckleton. 2009. Habitat-Associations of British Breeding Farmland Birds. Bird Study 56(1): 43-52. Winkelman, E. 1990. Impact of the Wind Park near Urk, Netherlands, on Birds: Bird Collision Victims and Disturbance of Wintering Fowl. International Ornithological Congress 20: 402-403.

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Young, D.P. Jr., W.P. Erickson, K. Bay, S. Nomani, and W. Tidhar. 2009a. Mount Storm Wind Energy Facility, Phase 1 Post-Construction Avian and Bat Monitoring, July - October 2008. Prepared for NedPower Mount Storm, LLC, Houston, Texas, by Western EcoSystems Technology (WEST), Inc., Cheyenne, Wyoming. Young, D.P. Jr., W.P. Erickson, R.E. Good, M.D. Strickland, and G.D. Johnson. 2003. Avian and Bat Mortality Associated with the Initial Phase of the Foote Creek Rim Windpower Project, Carbon County, Wyoming, Final Report, November 1998 - June 2002. Prepared for Pacificorp, Inc. Portland, Oregon, SeaWest Windpower Inc. San Diego, California, and Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins District Office, Rawlins, Wyoming. Young, D.P. Jr., W.P. Erickson, J. Jeffrey, K. Bay, and M. Bourassa. 2005. Eurus Combine Hills Turbine Ranch. Phase 1 Post Construction Wildlife Monitoring Final Report February 2004 February 2005. Technical report for Eurus Energy America Corporation and the Combine Hills Technical Advisory Committee, Umatilla County, Oregon. Prepared by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Northwest Wildlife Consultants, Inc. (NWC), Pendleton, Oregon. Young, D.P. Jr., W.P. Erickson, K. Bay, S. Nomani, and W. Tidhar. 2009b. Mount Storm Wind Energy Facility, Phase 1 Post-Construction Avian and Bat Monitoring, Nedpower Mount Storm Wind Energy Facility, Post-Construction Avian and Bat Monitoring, March – June 2009. Prepared for NedPower Mount Storm, LLC, Houston, Texas, by Western EcoSystems Technology (WEST), Inc., Cheyenne, Wyoming. Young, D.P. Jr., W.P. Erickson, G.D. Johnson, M.D. Strickland, and R.E. Good. 2001. Avian and Bat Mortality Associated with the Initial Phase of the Foote Creek Rim Wind Power Project, Carbon County, Wyoming. November 3, 1998 - December 31, 2000. Prepared for SeaWest Windpower Inc., San Diego, California, and the Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins District Office, Rawlins, Wyoming, by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST), Cheyenne, Wyoming. October 1, 2001.

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Appendix A – Information Request by the NYSDEC for the Article 11
Endangered and Threatened Species information needed for Article 11 permit/license. As of 1-6-09 Applications: A complete application for an incidental take permit must include: (1) The applicant’s full name, mailing address and telephone numbers. If the applicant is a corporation, firm, partnership, association, institution, or public or private agency, the name and address of the person responsible for the proposed activity or project requesting the permit, the president or principal officer, and the registered agent for the service of process; (2) A full description of the proposed activity or project and the location, the name of the species listed in this Part impacted, the nature and expected extent of the taking, and the impacts on the subject species that are likely to occur as a result of the proposed activity and the taking; (3) An analysis of whether the proposed project, in its entirety, threatens the continued existence of the species in question. This analysis shall include consideration of the species’ capability to survive and reproduce, and any adverse impacts of the taking on those abilities based upon: (i) known population trends; (ii) known threats to the species; and (iii) reasonably foreseeable impacts on the species from other related activities or projects; (4) A full description of the alternative actions to the taking the applicant has considered and the reasons that such alternatives either cannot or will not be utilized; (5) A full description of any attempts to modify the proposed activity or project to avoid a take entirely. If unable to entirely avoid a take, an applicant must modify the proposed activity or project, to the maximum extent practical, to minimize or mitigate a take and demonstrate a net conservation benefit to the subject species; (6) Prepare and file with the department an endangered or threatened species mitigation plan as described below;

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Article 11 St. Lawrence Wind Endangered or threatened species mitigation plan: The endangered or threatened species mitigation plan must include: (1) The proposed measures the applicant will take to minimize and fully mitigate impacts to any species listed as endangered or threatened in this Part. All proposed measures shall be capable of successful implementation. In determining whether any measures are capable of successful implementation, the department will consider whether the proposed measures are legally, technologically, economically and biologically practicable. This does not preclude the use of new measures or other measures without an as-yet established record of success which have a reasonable basis for utilization and a reasonable prospect for success; (2) The proposed steps that will be taken by applicant to achieve a net conservation benefit to the species in question; (3) Data and information to ensure that the proposed taking will not reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the species, the biotic community of which the species is a part, and the habitat for the species’ continued existence in New York; (4) A proposed plan for monitoring compliance with the minimization and mitigation measures and the effectiveness of the measures; and (5) A description of the funding source, the level of funding, and the guarantee or assurance of funding that the applicant will have available to implement the measures identified within the endangered or threatened species mitigation plan including but not limited to bonds, insurance, or escrow.

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Appendix B – Indiana Bat Biological Assessment (please see Appendix C of the FEIS)

Appendix C – Wildlife Protection Plan (please see Appendix C of the FEIS)

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