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Columbia Hills bird life documented

A bird count in the Columbia Hills of Washington state -- the site of two proposed wind projects -- has found significant numbers and diversity of feathered life. The finding, says the Columbia Gorge Chapter of the Audubon Society, bolsters the group's reasons for opposing wind development in the area. Four bald eagles, 57 Northern Harriers and two Sharp-shinned Hawks were among the species observed, says Dennis White, conservation director for the Columbia Gorge Chapter. Opponents of wind projects in the gorge cite its beauty and abundance of wildlife. One project proposed by the Bonneville Power Administration was recently dropped due to such opposition. Another project in the area is proposed by a small entrepreneur. And Enron Corp owns land in the Columbia Hills, but has not yet decided whether to develop a wind project (Windpower Monthly, December 1998). The bird count was really dramatic in terms of the numbers of species and the diversity, says White.

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