Raptor Protection Plan
We have a longstanding commitment to protect birds on our power lines and at our wind project at Spion Kop in central Montana. Our environmental group evaluates lines for collision risk and recommends solutions including installing markers to make the lines more visible to birds, and even reconfiguring lines so they are all at the same height to minimize the risk of collision. We currently participate in industry collaboration with state and federal agencies to develop Best Management Practices for power line construction, operation and maintenance in sage grouse habitat. In October 2014, we co-hosted an Avian Protection Workshop for electric utility employees, state and federal agencies and conservation organizations. People from Montana electric co-ops and agency personnel learned how to reduce avian electrocutions, collisions and nesting. Additional sessions covered golden eagles, trumpeter swans, and sage grouse as well as the potential impacts of wind generation on birds. Our work at Spion Kop involves partnering with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to monitor affects of wind turbines on birds and bats.