16 January 2017

Demise of a Sharp-shinned Hawk at Valentine

While striding along a regular walking route in north Valentine, and being focused on looking hither and yon to realize any sorts of birds, a bit of an obvious detail became prominent on the ground. With a single glance, followed by a closer look, a short pause was needed to determine what was lying in a front yard a short distance from the public sidewalk. It was a bent, feathered carcass beneath a conifer.

No delay was made in encroaching to retrieve the remains for further consideration. My trespass involved just a stride or two, but was quickly done in order to retrieve public property, that being the bird carcass, for further consideration. The morbid animal was placed in my carry bag.

A brief time later, this gathered item, as well as a spotting scope, needed to be rearranged so purchased edibles could fit rightly during a visit to a local grocer. It would have been a “hoot” to pull out a dead bird and set it upon the counter at the grocery checkout, a short time - and many steps - later. There were no such antics ... thoughts do not necessarily convey any sort of action.

After further walking northward and a return to my simple residence, time was taken to determine that the carcass was that of a Sharp-shinned Hawk. It was a rare opportunity to hold and consider conditions associated with this magnificent, dead raptor. This happenstance resulted in a personal session of renewal of basic avian plumage and an opportunity to intimately appreciate what had been a dramatic wildbird.

A Sharp-shinned Hawk had been reported to be obvious at bird feeders just a couple of city blocks northward, just days earlier during an inquiry to a north Valentine resident. There was a spot at the southwest corner of Eighth and Main Street where bird droppings were prominent beneath the branch of a conifer, and a place where this accipiter had been seen a time or two this season. Perhaps this had been its nightly roost?

While doing a tepid external autopsy of the bird, and using my ornithology text book from college in the early 1970s it seemed obvious that this raptor had recently eaten some prey. There was obvious reddish-colored remains on the breast of the bird, beneath its hawk and mandibular ramus. Also noted was a difference in the wing bones. Its demise seems to be because of a broken wing. While handling the carcass, carefully in comparison, it became obvious that its left wing had an apparent break whereas there was no similar condition associated with the right wing.

Bird featheration is so magnificent in its variety and wonder of colorful patterns. Having dealt with a couple thousand carcasses of wildbirds, it was a grand Sunday to be able to hold and consider the carcass of this once vivacious hawk.

Possession of this carcass was in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which does not allow anyone to “take” or possess any wild bird. Having dealt with the FWS in regards to carcass possession, there was no delay or second thought given to grabbing the carcass. If some bureaucrat of a federal agency wants to make a case, they will have to buy lunch, and be locally present to get any indicative words? Responsibility for being a miscreant is accepted.

Closeup details illustrating individual bards and vales of the feathers seem surreal, seemingly indicating something hard and rigid, which they are. Yet when seen from some distance feathers seem to be something seemingly soft on birds as they fly along.

It was quite nice to be able to find this carcass, rather than its death being unknown. The opportunity meant a return to the ornithology textbook used in college decades ago, where there are pages with indications and notations made during years when wildbirds were an abstract concept pending further understanding. So much more learning was so obviously necessary. Experiences had to occur.

Birds die all the time. In this situation, the demise of a single hawk happened in a manner where its death became realized and personally appreciated.

The remains of this hawk will be given individual respect as it is returned to a wild place where its remains will be returned to the land where it lived. At least it did not end up in a trash can!

The feather color and their condition was somewhat superb. Looking at the ornithology textbook, so many types of feathers on this singular carcass were vividly obvious and enjoyed in a unique manner on a winter day. It was a chance to return to learning. This is a series of photographs taken to illustrate the personal qualities of this dead raptor.








Such magnificent feathers.

12 January 2017

Holt County Couple Speak on Turbine Facility

Author note: The names of the couple that spoke at the public meeting of the zoning board meeting are not given in this article to facilitate its publication. Primary in the decision to spread this story regarded the situation as expressed by the speakers at a public zoning board meeting at Valentine in early January that should be conveyed to so many others. Also, spoken comments were made at a public meeting, and are therefore public information as personally noted. Minutes of this meeting made by the secretary of the board, will, according to details heard at the most recent January meeting of the Cherry County Commissioners - be made available online. Comments made at a public venue are public information. As the author of this story, it has been a difficult conundrum. The overall decision was to share the information so that many more could realize what may occur when wind turbines are placed on a local landscape.

Grand Prairie Wind Turbine Facility

A couple dealing with a massive wind turbine facility in Holt county have experienced the process and results associated with the planning and subsequent operation of an industrial wind turbine facility in northern Nebraska.

Speaking to the Cherry County Planning and Zoning Board on January 3rd, they indicated how turbines at the Grande Prairie Wind Farm located northeast of O’Neill has “ruined” values which they once readily appreciated at their rural residence. The couple travelled to Valentine to share their experiences with zoning board members now considering changes to Cherry county zoning regulations pertaining to wind energy conversion systems.

The couple reside on property within one and 1/3 mile of the nearest turbine of the Grande Prairie facility that has 200 model 110 Vista turbines. About 60 of them are visible from the a corner of the property where the couple has lived for 20 years.

The extent and ongoing occurrence of noises from operational turbines was especially prominent in their comments. Noisy conditions occur regularly since the turbines became operational at the end of October, 2016.

Turbine noise is heard “every day,” said the mister.

"The noise is not constant as we always hear it but when we hear it it is a steady constant noise not rising or falling like the wind, therefore it is a very unnatural sound," the missus said. “On any given day there is a different sound.” On occasion the sound is similar to a shoe thumping in a dryer. They have found that the noise is worse when the turbine blades are rotating away from their home, and the back side of the turbine nacelle is closer. The sounds carry across the level landscape until it meets an obstruction, which in this case, is their home.

To document the extent of the noise, they rely on decibel meter to determine readings at various times. On occasion, levels were measured at 52-68 dBA within their house, and 68 to 82 dBA outside. Early in January, 2017, there was a reading of 50 dBA within their home. Noise from the operating turbines can readily exceed typical residential sounds such as a furnace running or television volume.

County regulations indicate that noise levels should not exceed 50 dBA.

“I miss the peace of the night,” the missus said. She used to be able to enjoy hearing the calls of resident owls, coyotes howling and otherwise appreciate their rural setting. Prominent sounds now can regularly be those of operating wind turbines. It is “very disturbing, and not natural,” she said. When the weather and wind direction changes, the extent of noise also varies.

“A neighbor three miles distance from the turbines can hear them,” the mister said.

Blinking red lights atop the many turbines are also notably obvious in the night skyscape, which was formerly nothing but stars.

The couple had initially been told by project developers that no turbine would be placed within five miles of their home. A map they provided at the Cherry county board meeting showed that the extent of turbine placement was much greater than originally proposed.

“Zoning regulations were not as strong as they should have been,” the mister said, noting that some members of the zoning board currently have an opinion that the project “should not have happened.” There was only one initial public meeting, they said.

Three primary concerns for the Holt county zoning board have been: 1) decibels of noise from the turbines at the site and nearby; 2) influence on land values; and, 3) the designated setback distance. There were also other items that the zoning board dealt with.

The gentleman from Holt county said the project has been “very disturbing to people that live near the site. It has split families and neighbors. It is a mess.”

There was some economic benefit to the community during the construction phase, he said. Any other economic benefits to the county are not yet apparent.

A prominent comment they made was that 80% of the owners of property where the turbines are placed do not live at the site, but instead reside in O’Neill or elsewhere. These owners receive thousands per month in payment for having a turbine on the property.

The Grande Prairie project was started in 2008. The county zoning board initially heard about the proposal in 2014, it was said. This project has been sold twice, and is currently owned and operated by Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

They mentioned Berkshire Hathaway Energy constructs wind turbine facilities due to tax breaks.

Warren Buffett has invested in wind energy for years, notably because of the federal government tax subsidies to generate wind power, according to press reports. "That’s the only reason to build them,” Buffett said. "They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

There is a proposal for an additional 25 turbines to be placed amidst the facility which comprises 54,000 acres. Some members of the planning board are hoping for a delay on any further placement of any more of the massive turbines.

The couple indicated they would welcome anyone wanting to visit and personally experience conditions associated with living near the operational turbines at one of the largest wind turbine facilities in Nebraska.

Cherry County Zoning

People present at this meeting included 8 of the 9 members of the zoning board, the zoning administrator and 12 guests with most of them indicating their name on a sign-in page. The wife of a newly elected county commissioner, once again, declined an opportunity to put her name on an attendee list.

No decisions were made to revise any zoning regulations during this meeting. Particular attention was given to the three items that the county commissioners indicated that the planning board members needed to consider. Several sources of information were discussed and then documentation was provided for individual members to consider for discussion at the February meeting of the Cherry county zoning board.

Wind Energy – A Runaway Failure for Nearly Four Decades

Article courtesy of Jim Weigand. Thank you, sir, for your contribution and ongoing efforts which have been so important. Mr. Weigand is a Great American.

If you are one of the millions across America, that believes wind energy will create a better world, you need to read the facts presented here. This information has been hidden by the media, utility companies, your government and by most of all, a terribly destructive industry seeking profits.

California’s wind turbines may have started a green revolution here in America. But as readers will learn here, wind energy’s perceived value to society is a devious fantasy. Adding to the public’s confusion is that this puffed-up industry has been enabled with layers of rigging from politicians, planted media stories, fraudulent research, data manipulation and outright lies. All for the purpose of giving corporations access to taxpayer billions. As you will learn here it certainly has not been for the energy provided.

I would imagine that the United States has now invested well over $2,000,000,000 in these turbines and infrastructure. But the story and success of wind energy is the basically same power of suggestion story as “The Emperor's New Clothes.” Ironically this well-known tale written in Denmark 200 years ago, is also the home of this fake green industry.

From the massive amounts of publicity over the years one would think that wind energy is carrying a rapidly increasing load of America’s electricity demands. Opinion polls overwhelmingly show that the public supports renewable energy and especially wind power. But these favorable polls are from the mistaken belief that wind energy is green, has few impacts and is carrying a rapidly increasing load of America’s electricity demands. But this is a false perception created by sellouts, ignorance and profit seekers searching for taxpayer gold.

From my years of wind energy related research, I have found that for this industry, telling the truth means absolutely nothing. For example, the first and only credible scientific mortality study ever conducted around wind turbines, was released in 1985. Since then all mortality research has been a rigging and cover-up game. Since the release of that first wind industry study, showing a bird mortality rate of 34 fatalities per MW, what obviously became most important to this industry, was public opinion.

It is not easy for the public to admit how easily they can be duped. But this industry knows it and they have been working everyone for decades with an onslaught of research rigging, false media stories, false advertising, subliminal messaging and energy production embellishments. If they say they’re great, then they must be great and this has conditioned the minds of the masses.

At one time the public was led to believe that wind turbines could make us independent of Middle East oil, then the primary story supporting wind energy development evolved into to fixing climate and saving mankind. Or maybe you have been led to believe that these turbines will power a new generation of electrified transportation.

While this form of transportation is coming, the vast majority of electrical energy consumed by electrified transportation will never come from wind turbines. The saddest part about this entire green fraud is that America’s utilities and energy providers each know that wind energy is no solution for any of this. They all know because they live with wind energy’s wimpy inefficient production numbers every day.

Everybody reading this also needs to understand what I know to be true about this industry. An industry that will cover-up their slaughter to tens of thousands of eagles, including our endangered species, will stop at nothing for profits. An industry after killing thousands of eagles over the last 35 years at Altamont, then colluding with the U.S. Geological Service (2015) on a study overestimating this same population by more than ten times, will also stop at nothing.

For the naysayers that do not believe in my expertise, I give you this ... our President Obama has rewarded this industry for their decades of mortality fraud on America. After claiming for years that very few eagles were being killed annually by wind turbines and that Altamont Pass in California was a regional aberration, our President recently signed a rule making it legal for this this industry to kill up to 6200 eagles annually in America. With this new rule, President Obama just confirmed that this massive hidden eagle slaughter from wind turbines, has always been with us. More proof is at the Eagle Repository in Denver where more than 33,000 eagle carcasses have been received since 1997 by this morgue.

This ongoing wind industry slaughter is also killing millions upon millions of other wildbirds annually while producing very little energy for society. Being a dedicated wildlife biologist, I am aware of the extinction of species coming from these prolific killers and this is exactly why I write about wind energy.

The National Audubon Society, Sierra Club and several other prominent conservation groups support wind energy. They have also been receiving buckets of wind energy funding thru various channels. If anyone reads their canned statements or looks over their websites, these groups claim this form of lethal energy will eventually save more species in the future from climate change ... so, any species slaughter currently taking place, is for a greater good because wind turbines are so wonderful.

Part Two

Figuring out the true value of wind energy is really quite easy if the real numbers were not deliberately being hidden. But having been hidden are details on the thousands of eagle carcasses being found under wind turbines. But unfortunately, facts like these are hidden because people and corporations with terrible character want your money.

For investors and energy providers, selling wind energy to the public is similar to a fast food restaurant selling orders of high profit French fries for $2 when the potato only cost them 10 cents. Then this wonderful restaurant in order to create more profits, creates fraudulent research that allows them to advertise to the world that their fries are a top-rated superfood. Wind energy is really no better than this.

But selling French fries as a superfood will not fly because the public knows better. This is not true with wind energy because they know very little about their utility companies or energy producers. So, when the wealthy “green” profiteers plant media stories and declare wind energy as a gateway to a rosy future, it sounds pretty good.

The truth is that wind turbines provide very little usable energy for society and the reported wind energy figures being published by this industry are not true. This entire scenario is basically what has been taking place for decades with fake industry mortality studies allowing millions of wildbirds and thousands of eagles being killed annually to be hidden.

How much electrical energy being sold on paper written into a wind energy contract has very little to do with how much of this original energy is actually being consumed by end users? The fact is that every wind farm consumes energy when that wind farm is not operational and annual reported wind energy reports do not have to account for this. Then besides the uncalculated energy consumed by wind projects, there are system losses created by constant load fluctuations associated the intermittent production from wind turbines. Additional losses occur when this energy must travel hundreds of miles through transmission lines, power stations and transformers. These losses are also not calculated, yet together these losses are substantial.

The wind turbine industry pretends that every possible kwh of wind energy is usable and no energy is lost on the way to the consumer. On paper this convenient loophole makes these projects appear more productive to the public. This fantasy is much like a farmer thinking every head of lettuce laying in his field will end up purchased in a consumer’s refrigerator with no outgoing costs for the labor or fuel involved in the production.

Then with all these contrived green energy numbers there are production tax credits and carbon credits given to this fraudulent industry. This embellishment robs taxpayers. For that lucky lettuce farmer, it is like getting paid two or three times for every head of his “special green” lettuce, even though many never reach the consumer. This is why companies like Google, Amazon are piling on to the wind energy bandwagon. Selling this energy fantasy to America has been highly profitable for some.

But getting the real energy production numbers for wind turbines and getting the truth from energy providers will not happen. Getting these numbers, will be even harder to get than the total numbers of eagle carcasses being shipped to the Denver repository from America’s wind farms each year. This is because these numbers are protected by Washington, thanks to Bill Clinton’s amending this country’s Freedom of Information Act in 1997.

California’s Historical and Future Wind Energy Failure

These turbines have been installed in California for decades. In Southern California the historical mountainous range of the Condor was destroyed by this industry and now this endangered species is captive to a small region with permanent feeding stations away from turbines. The golden eagle population has been decimated, but rigged U.S. Geological Service 2015 research is hiding this fact and exaggerating their populations by more than ten times.

Huge sprawling areas of California have been blighted or devoured by this industry and across this country millions of protected birds, with lives dependent on these open spaces are getting slaughtered annually. So, what has been the net benefit from all this destruction? Probably none except financially for a limited few.

After years of turbine construction on California’s remote ridgelines, wind turbines began producing a bit of wind energy for the grid in 1983. That year California produced about 53 Gigawatt Watt hours of wind energy. Over the years this production has grown to about 12,000 GWh in 2015. This is an annual production increase of around 11,950 GWH after a span of 33 years.

If you happen to be a wind industry supporter, a turbine peddler, the California Energy commission, the AWEA or even one of the industry’s many fake wildlife biologists, you would be boasting that wind energy is the fastest growing source of energy in the US, having increased by an amazing 240 times. While a tiny bit of this information is true it is also one of the biggest lies being fed to the public by all these entities.

Here is this big corporate/government lie exposed. During this 33-year period, while wind energy has possibly (using their numbers) increased by 240 times, wind energy has been a huge loser in a perpetual battle with California’s annual electricity consumption. In 1983, the wind industry produced just 53 GWh and CA’s total annual energy consumption was around 199,609 GWh. Back then there was an electricity energy gap of 199,556 GWh between wind energy production and California’s electricity consumption.

Now, 33 years later, the fantasy of wind energy fulfilling California’s electricity needs, has become even more impossible because this wind turbine gap (energy production vs. total consumption) has grown from 199,609 GWh to over 288,000 GWh per year. Adding the electricity load losses and transmission losses, this state is now using well over 300,000 GWh of electricity per year. For wind energy to have just kept pace with this state’s growing grid demands, since 1983, California would have had to install more than eight times (49,200 MW) more wind energy blight across their open spaces. But this installment figure is likely worse because one would have to accept this industry’s reported wind energy production figures.

A statement from the California Energy Commission (CEC) states: “Currently there is no public, western?wide system that identifies deliveries of contracted generation sources and short?term market purchases to specific locations in California. As a result, the California Energy Commission makes estimates and uses general assumptions to allocate the quantities of imported electricity to specific fuel types."

In other words, California’s energy imported figures are not accurate and the consumption of energy and transmission losses are most likely much higher. How much energy is purchased by consumers is far different than the amount of electrical energy needed to keep all the transmission lines charged. California is now importing more than 35% of their energy consumption and most this energy produced from gas, coal and nuclear electricity, is coming from 7 other states.

Here one more official CEC statement: “California is well on its way to meeting the 33 percent renewables by 2020 requirement.”

When the public is presented with statements like this from the California Energy Commission they need to remember, these are statements using incomplete, manipulated and bogus data. Rigging numbers and buying fake amounts of renewable energy from other states, satisfies nothing except for investors.

There should be no question in anyone’s mind that electrical consumption in California is much higher than the statewide figures. This is because there is also no accounting in the CEC energy figures for another very substantial energy consumption sector in California, the energy used by the U.S.A. Defense Department and these numbers within California are substantial.

As for the wind energy being produced in Oregon and Washington, their wind energy production isn’t even being produced for their Renewable Portfolio Standards. The reason is because these two states have been supplying over 60% of their electricity consumption with renewable hydroelectric power sources for decades. Sadly in these two states, all the wind turbine blight, the slaughter of species and ecosystem destruction taking place to their open spaces, is for California’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, so it can be put on their books.

I will point out that making power agreements with these two states does have other benefits, it helps to satisfy a fake demand and a false need for these non-producing turbines.

A lie told to Congress in 1998 was: “We can open up the wind resource in this country with the advanced wind turbines we're developing and basically supply all the electricity in the United States, if you tapped all the potential that was there".

Wake up folks, the only way this could ever be possible is if America’s population were reduced by more than 90% and with no future growth.

After four decades, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on wind energy development and destroying the Golden State environment, Californian’s have very little positive to show for this failed green energy source. In the next 2 decades, a new generation of electric cars, electrical gadgets and an electrified rail system, will add substantially to this state’s electrical load requirements. Soon the total electricity needed to satisfy CA’s growing consumption will exceed 400,000 GWH.

When this occurs, wind energy production in California will probably still under 25,000 GWH per year and California residents will still be saddled with an ever growing 375,000 GWh wind energy production gap. Anyone honest with an IQ over 80, can understand energy consumption is leaving every wind energy production number in the dust.

Audubon, the Sierra Club and every other sellout conservation group taking corrupt wind energy money, should have explain all this on their websites or at a congressional hearing. These groups should need to explain to their ignorant well-meaning members, exactly how supporting wind energy’s putrid numbers with their impossible climate fixing dream, are a good tradeoff for a growing slaughter to thousands of eagles and millions of wildbirds annually.

An Even Faster Growing Wind Energy Gap

The green energy fantasy of using wind turbines to power the future truly is a fantasy and this delusion becomes even more impossible when considering all of society’s other energy sectors.

When looking at published California Energy Commission (CEC) information, figures for California denote use of electricity, fuel coal and natural gas. It tells the public very little but with some added background information. It also happens to be one the most revealing statements you will ever find about the futility wind energy. This is because when looking at total energy, the energy used every day in our lives, wind energy only supplies a miniscule amount of these total energy numbers.

"California is the 10th largest consumer of energy in the world slightly ahead of Italy and slightly behind France. The transportation sector consumes 46 percent of California, the industrial sector consumes 31 percent, residential 13 percent, and commercial 10 percent."

Total energy usage from fuel, natural gas or electricity is typically quantified using the British thermal unit (Btu), or million Btu. In California, this per capita consumption is rated at about 217 million Btu per person for all energy sectors and transportation is by far, the largest form of energy of consumption. Several years ago, the U.S. per capita total energy consumption average was rated at 313 Million Btu.

When per capita million Btu numbers are converted to MWh, this works out to 63 MWh for every person in California. One must also one take into consideration that no form of electricity will propel a jet to Paris and space heating for buildings is far more inefficient and costly when using electricity.

With reported wind energy numbers being compared with total energy consumption in Million Btu for all sectors, wind turbines provided about 12,000 GWh of electricity or 1/207 of this state’s energy total consumption in 2015. But the real numbers are higher not only for of the reasons stated earlier but because there is another substantial energy sector not being accounted for in CA, the energy consumed by the Defense Department in California.

It is my opinion, with defense energy quantified, getting accurate net wind energy production numbers and all electrical energy losses accounted for before reaching end users, the real contribution from California’s wind turbines, is probably more like than 1/300 of the total energy consumed within this state.

Wind Energy and Climate

Unfortunately, the public perception is that that wind energy will one day supply our grid with clean energy and that it will help the world stabilize climate change or even fix it. It is all complete nonsense, and when presented with real numbers it is easy to see that wind energy is really a grossly obese loser. If wind energy production were a foot race on a track, this form of energy has been getting lapped over and over again by all the other primary energy sources making electricity for the grid.

Take a look the at the table below showing total United States electricity consumption numbers from 1990 and 2015. Reported Wind energy production even with the industry’s embellished production numbers, are getting creamed by increasing consumer demand and consumption. Consumption is growing at a rate at least 5.6 times faster and this growing disparity will never stop.

So I ask everyone waving the climate flag while peddling wind turbines, at what point in the future will wind turbines help stabilize or even fix climate? Of course I know it will never happen for many reasons, but let’s just pretend wind turbines can help. Let’s say this positive impact on climate will happen at a level where wind turbines provide 25% of this country’s electricity consumption.

In the 25-year span of 1990-2015 shown above, wind energy has reportedly grown from producing 2190 GWh to producing 190,719 GWh. At this rate of wind energy growth, even if there were no annual increase in this country’s consumer consumption from 4,077,601 GWh, it would take another 134 years to reach a grid production level of 25%.

If you think wind energy will help fix climate when reaching a 25% production level with all energy consumption sectors included, then still with no energy consumption growth, in about another 2000 years we can have a big party for this reaching this accomplishment.

When accounting for increases in energy consumption, even reaching a modest level of 25% wind energy production becomes impossible.

But I have more bad news; there isn’t enough good wind or enough room for all this industrial mess. Not only will wind energy never catch up, with these turbines and the endless transmission lines, it will devour our landscapes, until there is no more room.

A funny thing about all this is that wind projects are supposed to be valuable. These projects sell to insiders for about 2 million per MW of installed nameplate capacity. The industry has 75,000 MWs of these spinning losers, making the energy costs to society per GWh , astronomical when compared to the primary producers of energy for society.

In an amazing contrast of value, clean coal plants and natural gas plants that receive no tax credits or fake carbon credits have far less value for investors. These are the power plants that are producing the bulk of the energy for society. These are also the power plants that bring energy to wind projects and compensate wind energy production for all its intermittent load losses. Yet these far more valuable power plants are valued at a fraction of the cost per MW.

In September of 2016, four such power plants with a nameplate capacity of approximately 5,200 megawatts (MW) sold for $2.17 billion. About 1/8 the price per MW of wind energy. The reason for this artificially inflated value for wind energy, is due to a corrupt Congress rewarding this industry and this country’s rigged Renewable Portfolio Standards.

As readers grasp the information presented here, they should understand they are being royally fleeced and your precious tax dollars are being wasted on wind turbines that have no “greater good for society. As for any of the climate change arguments supporting the wind turbine installations, the facts here prove that wind energy production is so completely insignificant, that when dealing with any climate issues, wind turbines have no benefit. These climate fixing arguments are not only impossible, it is fraud to make such claims. 

Our President Obama believes that climate change is the greatest threat facing mankind. I happen to believe the corruption of man is our greatest threat. An objective look at this ongoing wind energy scam is enough proof to support my beliefs. But if you do believe that man-made climate change is our greatest enemy and the greatest threat facing mankind, then consider what took place with another great enemy from our past.                                                                                                                              

During World War II, America was attacked and was facing a massive threat. In response, Americans united, quickly mobilized and made sacrifices. The war effort built modern ships, modern weapons, and a fleet of war planes so our military could face the enemy with our best possible efforts.  America did not mobilize against this enemy using fraudulent research and then have whore leaders provide our military an archaic fleet of canoes well equipped with clubs and spears. Yet in terms of creating massive amounts of energy, this is how utterly stupid and absurd wind turbine energy really is.

America has plans to rebuild its infrastructure and economy. This will never happen with leaders supporting this investment mafia of wind energy freeloaders.  It is long overdue that America slammed the door on this tax robbing industry.

Wind energy is a fraud on America and fraud based solutions feeding greedy investors, will never solve this world's problems. In a truly free market, businesses do fail and NFL coaches do get the fired for not producing.  But not with these clowns. Our leaders continue to let these economic parasites hang around and their corrupt friends in Congress continue to reward them for their destruction to this country. 

If you are part of this wind turbine fraud, it is now legal to kill 6200 eagles a year. You now have reason to rejoice because this new rule will bring wind supporters more wealth. It obviously does not matter that this law was created through corrupt channels and research fraud or that there is no greater good from these wind energy developments. What really matters is getting your way and increasing wealth. I know this to be true because all my proof sent in to the Interior Department, showing the numerous ways research mortality fraud was taking place, has been completely ignored.

While these schemers are looking forward to new riches now that they have permission to kill what is really an unlimited number of eagles from a limited continental population, my advice for every community across America is simple, get educated and fight this corporate tyranny. If you want to stop this insane environmental destruction, preserve quality of life in your community and landscape, and save tax dollars for services actually needed, then do the right thing ... Save an eagle and kill a wind turbine.

December Birds in the Valentine Vicinity

p>Wild birds present during this winter month primarily reflect records of occurrence for the usual mix of always noticeable residents. Prominent and known bird feeders are appreciated as food sources and numbers of birds were noted in association with some of these as observed from public property.

The Belted Kingfisher was a new addition to the monthly tally, as one lingered along the unfrozen portion of Minnechaduza Creek. Ruby-crowned Kinglet fit the same situation, and were denoted along north Main Street upon hearing their subtle whistle as it moved amidst the branches of a conifer.

Other new additions to the overall monthly tally were the Trumpeter Swan and Wilson's Snipe from the Niobrara River at Borman Bridge WMA and the Northern Bobwhite resident at an adjacent property comprising a woodland draw and an expanse of prairie. There is a project underway to renovate the draw to remove invasive cedar trees from amidst the pines and oaks.

Also notable during the month were lingering Common Starling and intermittent Eastern Bluebird. Wild sparrows were very sparse.

The number of Canada Goose present were notable, but the counts do not indicate their extensive numbers that roost on Niobrara River sandbars near the Highway 20/83 bridge east of town. Rock Dove are primarily at the livestock market. They like to roost on the power lines at its south side, making a count an easy task. A few American Crow are spending their winter here.

Overall there were these 33 species noted during the month. Some of these records are courtesy of Gordon Warrick, and I would like to convey my thanks for his interest in birding and picking me up outings could be made to notable places that are wildlife havens which provide a greater indication of local wildbirds. We even did some birding on the last day of the year, julian date 366, just because this is an intermittent opportunity.

My counts are typically done while walking near Valentine Mill Pond and spaces around and about town along streets and alleys and other public routes.

IOC Common Name 336 339 344 347 348 349 353 354 358 363 365 366
Canada Goose 275 325 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 495 - - 45
Cackling Goose 3 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3 - - - -
Trumpeter Swan 2 - - - - - - 5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mallard - - 16 - - - - - - - - - - 6 - - 4 - - - -
Sharp-shinned Hawk - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Cooper's Hawk - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - -
Bald Eagle - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Red-tailed Hawk - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1
Wilson's Snipe - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Rock Dove - - 30 - - 19 - - - - - - - - 20 - - 15 - -
Eurasian Collared Dove 9 4 6 29 - - - - 2 12 21 4 - - 3
Great Horned Owl - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 - - - -
Belted Kingfisher - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - -
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 1 1 - - - - 1 1 1 - - - - - - - -
Downy Woodpecker 1 - - 1 2 - - - - 1 1 1 1 - - - -
Hairy Woodpecker - - - - 1 1 - - - - 1 - - 2 1 2 - -
Northern Flicker 1 1 - - 1 - - 4 - - - - 2 - - - - 3
Blue Jay - - - - - - 2 - - - - - - - - 1 1 - - - -
American Crow 2 - - 2 3 - - - - - - 2 3 3 - - 2
Cedar Waxwing - - 16 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4 - - - -
Black-capped Chickadee 2 - - 2 - - - - 2 2 2 2 2 - - 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - -
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - -
White-breasted Nuthatch 1 1 2 2 - - 2 1 1 3 2 - - 3
Common Starling - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 25 - - 2 - - - -
Eastern Bluebird - - 4 - - - - - - - - - - - - 5 - - 4 6
American Robin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8 2 - - 4
House Sparrow 75 - - - - 12 - - 32 - - - - 10 25 - - - -
House Finch - - 10 - - 2 - - - - - - - - 37 - - 3 2
American Goldfinch - - 2 - - 4 - - - - - - - - 8 3 - - 1
Dark-eyed Junco 14 16 2 10 - - 3 4 10 8 6 - - 2
American Tree Sparrow 8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Northern Cardinal 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - -

There were 28 species noted in December 2015, with details kept for twelve dates. The combined list for the two months comprises 36 species. After 17 months of record keeping, there have been 121 species noted in the vicinity of the heart city.

It would be valuable for a city resident with a bird feeder to keep regular records of occurrences, including estimates of numbers on specific dates. Notably, the Northern Cardinal and Blue Jay would occur, yet these two species are seen only intermittently during my walking forays.

Schlagel Creek WMA Visit

A drive was made to this area on December 31st. The species present were: Great Horned Owl, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Great Grey Shrike, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and American Tree Sparrow. This public area is in serious need of cedar tree removal as encroachment is extensive and ruining the prairie landscape.

Observed at nearby country locales were an American Kestrel, Northern Harrier and Red-tailed Hawk.

The most exciting observation was a defiant Badger in its shelter, and that did not like an intrusion.

04 January 2017

Comments on Wetland Regulations in Cherry County Development Plan and Zoning Regulations

Submitted at monthly meeting of Planning and Zoning Board; January 3, 2017. The comments herein indicated have been slightly modified from those provided at the meeting.
After reading my statement, none of the members of the board made any comment, and the chairman moved to the next agenda item. When a question was asked later in the meeting on how the board would address this matter, this request was once again basically ignored as no member of the zoning board made any effort — nor indicated any interest — to address this issue. It was obvious that the planning and zoning board members basically ignored this request to get the comprehensive plan and zoning regulations to have similar details.

The planning and zoning policy of Cherry county needs to be revised to indicate an accepted regulation based upon a clause indicated by the Cherry County Comprehensive Plan. Currently, this is not the situation.

Denoted in Implementation Strategy for Policy 4; Point A. Item 2 in the Cherry County Comprehensive Development Plan:

“All development (again, development does not include agriculture) potentially affecting wetlands must comply with state and federal wetlands protection programs.” (Cherry County Comprehensive Plan, 1997) “Development shall leave a naturally vegetated buffer surrounding all wetlands. Roads and utility lines may cross these buffers, but the project’s site plan should minimize such crossings.”

The verbiage is different in the zoning regulations where the provision indicates that all wetlands will be identified. Yet, there are no further indications of the purpose(s) for this clause.

The discrepancy is obvious. Therefore the variance needs to be actively considered and changed to indicate current conditions.

Any applicant should be required to provide written documentation with any Conditional Use Permit request to indicate compliance with, most notably, federal regulations, as well as any applicable state regulations regarding wetlands.

According to a representative of the Nebraska regulatory office of the Corps of Engineers at Omaha: "In order to determine if a wetland is isolated, and that the Corps does not have jurisdiction," an Approved Jurisdictional Determination should be completed by the person proposing the work, or the landowner. This determination would determine "whether a wetland or pond is a Waters of the U.S. (jurisdictional) or Waters of the State (not jurisdictional). "If it is jurisdictional a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit is required for impacts." ... "For the most part, the type of wetland is irrelevant to jurisdiction." The Corps cannot require that this determination be completed. An email response also indicated that only the Corps of Engineers can determine the "jurisdictional" status.

The zoning regulations should be updated to conform with the clause given in the county plan.

03 January 2017

Habitat Management Through Deadfall Removal at Government Canyon

Removal of deadfall trees on a portion of Government Canyon is underway. This effort, sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is being done to reduce "fuel-load" and for habitat management purposes.

Deadfall trees may be cut and removed during January, 2017 on a 3.125 acre portion of the 720-acre Government Canyon tract.

A completed authorization form, which includes a signature of the "harvester," has to be provided to the NGPC. Stipulations indicate that only non-commercial firewood users may remove dead, fallen trees from an indicated area at the southern portion of the area. Other than this form, there is no assurance that someone could not remove suitable fire wood and then subsequently sell it.

This is the first time that this sort of project has occurred at Government Canyon, according to a Game and Parks Commission official at the adjacent fish hatchery office.

Essential details were quite noticeably bereft in the local radio and newspaper reports. Neither the radio announcements or newspaper article indicated that the removal of only deadfall trees would be allowed, and only on a small portion of the area.
During a birding visit on December 31st, it was obvious that the removal of dead fall had already started. Just the larger portion of a tree trunk remained of a larger extent of a dead tree, along the west side of the access road – and also west of the designated removal area – was obvious due to the chips left from chain-saw cutting.

This seemed to be an obvious illegal action by some miscreant.
Another notable item that needs to be carefully considered for this endeavor regards giving away state property. All of the resources at Government Canyon are owned by the citizens of Nebraska. This includes trees, whether living or dead. It is not proper to give away state resources, no matter what the purpose. Even though allowing people to take away deadfall trees may be an important step in area management, this still apparently involves freely "giving away" resources owned by all Nebraskans.

This conundrum could be readily address by charging any participant a nominal fee – perhaps $10 – to apply and receive authorization to participate. Any funds could be used to minimally benefit efforts to manage Government Canyon. A ten-dollar fee for unlimited removal is certainly, dramatically less than what it costs to purchase small amounts of firewood at any local food market. A fee would also help cover administrative expenses.

Government Canyon is an important resource for nearby Valentine residents and others that enjoy birding, hiking and other outdoor activities at this unique wildland. Suitable and ongoing management in a manner that meets management goals while making certain that any sundries are properly considered will continue the value of this special place in Cherry county.

30 December 2016

Suspension on Turbine Applications in Cherry County

A suspension on any applications for any industrial wind turbine facilities has been approved for an indefinite time for Cherry county. 

During this period, three items approved by the Board of Commissioners would be completed by members of the Planning and Zoning Commission:
1) An independent appraisal of any land valuation changes associated with wind turbine facilities
2) A plan for how local fire departments would respond to any turbine fires
3) Are there any health related issues; information from Lancaster county would be reviewed.

These three items would need to be completed in a “timely manner, not to exceed six months.” Any proposal would then be acted upon by county commissioners.

Commissioner comments included:

Tanya Storer: “these are reasonable and proactive steps";

Mark Adamson: regulations concern “personal property rights versus those of neighbors”;

James Van Winkle: regulations need to “support all landowners in property rights” and “that the commissioners “can’t make arbitrary decisions” on any decision regarding a moratorium on wind developments. A “suspension” is an effective “taking” of landowner rights, he also said.

The vote on a motion to undertake these steps was Mark Adamson and Tanya Storer, yes for approval. James Van Winkle - a member of Cherry County Wind L.L.C. - voted no.

Wind development opponents had requested the minimum of a one year, with some people having also suggested either two or six years, according to public testimony during the review process for the BSH Kilgore application.

The commissioners would work with planning and zoning to determine any costs, especially for the land valuation study.

Commissioners would not address any wildlife or wetland issues, as they are considered through other “venues,” Storer said (i.e., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers).

The Planning and Zoning Commission has been meeting monthly, primarily working on an update of the zoning regulations. Several county residents have also been in attendance, providing suggestions and comments.