Argyle bird trust working with solar developer to conserve more land

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grassland bird trust

Short-eared owls at the Grassland Bird Trust in Washington County, N.Y. (Photo: Gorder Ellmers/Grassland Bird Trust)

ARGYLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Grassland Bird Trust, a nonprofit conserving habitat land for endangered and threatened birds in Washington County, is collaborating with a renewable energy company to take care of more terrain.

Eden Renewables, a Troy-based solar farm company, is set to begin leasing 44 acres of land from the trust, adding to a total of 114 acres that the biodiverse group will manage for the next 20 years.

“Protecting wildlife habitats including birds is a crucial part of Eden’s ecology and biodiversity management planning,” said Eden Renewables Project Development Director Gillian Black. “We are extremely pleased to be working with Grassland Bird Trust to ensure that these sites continue to provide havens for local grassland birds and wintering raptors.”

Eden Renewables designed and develops solar farms that are pollinator-friendly and suit local agriculture. With the new agreement, Washington County grasslands exceed New York State mitigation requirements for damage to endangered and threatened species.

The lands in question are home to birds including short-eared owls, northern harriers, upland sandpipers, American kestrels, horned larks, grasshopper sparrows, eastern meadowlarks, bobolinks and more.

“We’re excited about this collaboration and look forward to working with Eden on future mitigation projects,” said Grassland Bird Trust Executive Director Laurie LaFond. “We believe that renewable energy, when done right, can play an important role in restoring populations of grassland birds to sustainable levels.”

The announcement on Monday did not detail whether any part of the conserved land would be considered for solar or any other renewable energy projects.

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