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Dr. Jeffrey L Beck

Dept of Ecosystem Science and Management

Agriculture Building 2005

Department #3354

1000 E. University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6683

Fax: (307) 766-6403

Email: jlbeck@uwyo.edu

Dr. Jeffrey L. Beck

Ecosystem Science and Management


Habitat and Population Evaluation for Greater Sage-Grouse in the Simpson Ridge Wind Resource Area, Wyoming


Wind turbines

Sage grouse researchers
M.S. Student: Chad W. LeBeau

Project Description: Horizon Wind Energy of Houston, Texas has proposed constructing a 400-megawatt wind-energy facility in the Simpson Ridge Wind Resource Area (SRWRA) in Carbon County, Wyoming. The SRWRA encompasses 116 km2 and consists of two proposed and one existing wind-energy facility (Seven Mile Hill), which lie within core greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat in south-central Wyoming. Wind-energy development may lead to habitat loss and fragmentation, resulting in direct and indirect impacts to wildlife populations. Little is known about impacts of wind energy development on sage-grouse populations. Some scientists speculate that such a skyline may displace greater sage-grouse from using traditional habitats, leading to reduced fitness in grouse populations. The objectives of our study are to evaluate habitat occurrence and assess population response for greater sage-grouse in relation to wind-energy development in the SRWRA. We will model habitat occurrence and population fitness parameters in each study area and link these models to identify source (highest habitat quality) and sink (poor-to-moderate quality habitat) habitats within the footprint of the SRWRA. Our study is designed to evaluate responses of grouse influenced by the Seven-Mile Hill wind-energy facility and grouse inhabiting the proposed Simpson Ridge wind-energy facility (offsite reference site). Field work was initiated in spring 2009 by Western Ecosystems Technology (WEST) Incorporated of Cheyenne, Wyoming and Horizon Wind Energy of Houston, Texas. A cooperative agreement signed in early 2010 led to a cooperative effort between Horizon Wind Energy, WEST Incorporated, and the University of Wyoming (J.L. Beck, principal investigator). Field work resumed in spring 2010 under the auspices of the cooperative agreement and is expected to extend through the 2010 or 2011 field seasons, depending on funding availability.


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Dr. Jeffrey L Beck

Dept of Ecosystem Science and Management

Agriculture Building 2005

Department #3354

1000 E. University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6683

Fax: (307) 766-6403

Email: jlbeck@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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