Please Speak for the Birds!

Update Sunday 11/17

Are you are planning to speak at the hearing?

If so, please arrive at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 20!  The Strauss FEIR will be first on the hearing agenda. County staff and the project applicant will speak, immediately followed by SBAS. The Commissioners would like all SBAS speakers to present consecutively.

Speaker time allotments are now from one to three minutes (shorter is preferable).

If you prefer to send in your comments, the receipt deadline is no later than noon Monday, Nov. 18.

Details

The Strauss Wind Energy Project (SWEP) is proposed for a large swath of agricultural land south of Lompoc near Miguelito County Park. Santa Barbara County released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR) for SWEP on Oct. 31, 2019.

The FSEIR includes many improvements suggested by Audubon; nevertheless we cannot support the project as currently designed, as it doesn’t provide enough bird protections (see our Position Statement document here).   The project will now go before the County Planning Commission to be considered for approval on Nov. 20 and 22.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

1. Speak at the County hearing on Nov. 20. The hearing starts at 9:00 AM in the County Planning Commission Hearing Room, 123 East Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA, 93101.

Strauss will be first on the agenda after roll call. After staff and the project applicant speak, SBAS will immediately follow. The Commissioners would like all SBAS speakers to present consecutively.

Each speaker has from one to three minutes to speak. Talking points are summarized below. You could select one or two topics about which you are most passionate and speak to those. You may use language provided in the talking points, modify the language, or craft your own message. You may speak extemporaneously or read your prepared statement.

2. Send written comments no later than 12:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18.  Comment letters may be submitted electronically to the Planning Commission Recording Secretary at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Paper letters with attachments (nine copies) should be filed with the secretary of the Planning Commission by the same deadline.You may compose your own comments, or use the talking points summarized below.

Everyone with an interest in protecting birds and their habitat is urged to testify or submit a comment letter! 

Talking Points: Examples below. Full text of all talking points attached HERE in Word Format.

General Impact
•    SWEP will cause an unacceptable level of harm to birds (especially raptors) and their habitat.

Raptor Impact
•    The Golden Eagle will probably be extirpated from the Lompoc area if SWEP is built.

Oak/Woodland Impact (updated –  the County has formalized the adoption of the alternative that reduces the oak impact.)

•    SWEP would destroy over 250 mature coast live oak and tanoak trees, causing severe damage to this fragile woodland along beautiful San Miguelito Road .   This destruction of oaks is designated as Class I, “significant and unavoidable”.

Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) Placement
•    The placement of the WTGs was not appropriately informed by bird survey data, as required by both California and Federal wind energy guidelines. 

More info on the project, as well as the Final SEIR, can be found on the County Planning Commission website here:

For more information or questions, please contact Steve Ferry, (805) 967-5162.

Shown in photo:  A Golden Eagle. The safety of raptors soaring over ridgelines while the turbines are operating is a concern.