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Feds OK wildlife plan for W.Va. wind farm

CHARLESTON, W.Va - Federal authorities have approved a permit allowing the killing of endangered bats by turbines at a West Virginia wind farm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the "incidental take" permit includes a habitat conservation plan to minimize the wind farm's effect on endangered wildlife.

Beech Ridge Energy sought the permit for its wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.

Under the plan, the company will adjust turbine operations when bats are most active.

The company also will implement two off-site conservation projects totaling $758,000 within two years. One is aimed at protecting the Indiana bat's hibernating, foraging and swarming habitat. The other is designed to protect hibernating Virginia big-eared bats.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says Beech Ridge hasn't reported any deaths of Indiana or Virginia big-eared bats.


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