Whooping crane lookouts mulled at ND wind farm

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal regulators may keep biologists watching for whooping cranes near a North Dakota wind farm, even though the birds haven't been seen in the area for two years.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative has placed observers at the facility south of Minot since 2010. Migrating whooping cranes normally pass through in the spring and fall.

Basin is required to shut down its turbines if a whooping crane was spotted within a mile of the wind farm.

Basin spokesman Daryl Hill says biologists have never seen a whooping crane in the North Dakota area.

But Hill says turbines had to be turned off this spring at the company's wind farm in southeast South Dakota after a pair of the big birds were spotted.