This project directly threatens an Aududon Important Bird Area (IBA) known as Peshekee LTA, described as “a huge ecoregion hosting arguably the state’s finest boreal forest complex. Northern hardwoods and upland conifer forest cover the majority of the IBA, with aspen and lowland conifer forests covering nearly a quarter of it. Lowland deciduous, pine, and other forest types are present, as are very small amounts of wetland (emergent and shrub swamp).”
Millions of birds are killed annually by wind turbines. According to American Bird Conservancy: “Based on the operation of a mere 22,000 turbines, FWS estimated that at least 440,000 birds– including threatened and endangered species—were being killed per year by wind turbines in 2009. Since then, another peer-reviewed study expanded that estimate to 573,000 in 2012. By 2030 or perhaps even earlier, a ten-fold increase in the number of wind turbines in the United States is expected, which together are projected to kill between 1.4 -2 million birds each year. ABC believes this number will be exceeded significantly, especially because these estimates do not include mortality at associated power lines and towers, which are also undergoing massive expansion and currently kill over 6.8 million birds annually.”
This project threatens an intact forested area with no year-round roads. These wild lands are collectively known as the “Michigamme Highlands”, the “Peshekee Lands” and the “Yellow Dog Plains”.
Many existing wind projects in downstate Michigan have targeted rolling hills and farmland. Nobody has proposed building an industrial wind development in such a rugged, remote area as the Michigamme Highlands.
The Nature Conservancy recommends that NO wind turbines be constructed in a zone “8 miles” from a Great Lakes Shoreline. Some turbines in this project would be built approximately 4 miles from Lake Superior’s Huron Bay, or 7 miles inland from Lake Superior.
The Huron Mountains and Michigamme Highlands currently preserve some of the darkest skies in the continental United States.
Each turbine will be marked with red lights, radically impacting the night sky. Currently, there are only a handful of small radio and cell phone towers visible in this area.
Towers and tower lights are expected to impact viewsheds from the remote Huron Mountain Club north of Big Bay, to Copper Harbor and the scenic Keweenaw Peninsula.
Turbines constructed in places where snowstorms are common, FAA has suggested, should be painted with brilliant aviation stripes of red-orange.