On Dec. 2, 2006, the Geography department at Kutztown University hosted a conference on the risks and trade-offs of Utility Scale Wind Energy Development of the Central Appalachians, organized by ornithologist Donald S. Heintzelman. Presenters included experts from American Bird Conservancy, Audubon Society, Boston University, Hawk Mountain, Penn State University, PA Game Commission, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Government Accountability Office, University of Virginia, and many others.
The principal theme of the conference was that wind turbines, especially those mounted on Appalachian ridges, kill high numbers of eagles and other raptors as well as bats, including some on the endangered species list. The impact has been understated as a result of poorly-designed studies, misreporting of data, and refusal of power companies to allow independent researchers on sites they own.
This does not mean that all wind power is bad, but the evidence clearly suggests that more research is needed, and that appropriate independent studies should be required before any new wind-generating facilities are permitted.
Details of the conference and pdf copies of individual presentations are available on the Kutztown University Geography Department website.