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Wind Power

Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society supports the use of properly-sited and managed wind turbines. We are working around the county to promote sensible wind energy and to advise wind farm managers on how to reduce raptor kills.

Read National Audubon Society's position on wind energy.

Altamont Pass

Established in 1982, the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) in eastern Alameda and Contra Costa Counties has 5,400 windmills and is one of the largest in the country. While the wind farm is beneficial as a source of clean electric power, it has also proved to be deadly to birds of prey. The small, now obsolete windmills at Altamont have killed more birds than any other wind facility in North America. This is partly because the wind farm is located on a major bird migratory route in an area with high concentrations of raptors, including the highest density of breeding Golden Eagles in the world.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity (PDF), raptor experts hired by the California Energy Commission determined that each year, Altamont Pass wind turbines kill an estimated 880 to 1,300 birds of prey, including more than 75 Golden Eagles, several hundred Red-tailed Hawks, several hundred Burrowing Owls, and hundreds of other raptors including American Kestrels, Great-horned Owls, Ferruginous Hawks, and Barn Owls. These kills of over 40 different bird species violate federal and state wildlife protection laws such as the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and several California Fish and Game code provisions.

How you can help!

• You can help with these or other projects that interest you by becoming a Volunteer for Conservation. We have many ways that you can help from simply speaking out as part of our Conservation Action Alert Network to joining our Environmental Action Committee (EAC).

• Make a tax-deductible donation to support these and other local conservation efforts.


Updated November 2011.


What's New at SCVAS

RAILS Program for Teens: Santa Clara County Teens are invited to participate in the RAILS Program with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society:

The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society's RAILS Program for Teens provides education and training for young adults ages 14-18 to help them develop skills in environmental "Research, Advocacy, Identification, Leadership and Sstewardship" - skills that will help them excel in higher education and careers in wildlife biology, field ecology and environmental education.

RAILS members participate in an 8-week summer training program based out of our headquarters at McClellan Ranch Preserve in Cupertino. This program provides a strong foundation in the knowledge of local plants and wildlife, environmental science, field ecology, outdoor skills, environmental education practices, and local and regional conservation issues. During their time in this program, participants will explore a variety of local nature preserves and open space areas, learn critical field research skills, and gain experience as Junior Counselors in a nature camp setting.

Participants are expected to attend the bi-weekly training sessions, starting June 23rd, and the week-long summer camp between July 20th-24th. At the end of this program, RAILS participants will receive a certificate verifying their participation.

For additional information, contact [email?protected] Download the application packet HERE.

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22221 McClellan Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel: (408) 252-3747 / Fax: (408) 252-2850