Feb 18, 2013

Proposal for Power Lines Near Squaw Creek NWR Prove Controversial

The Examiner in Missouri is reporting that a local plan by Kansas City Power and Light to run power lines as close as two miles from Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is raising concerns from Ron Bell, the refuge manager, as well as local hunting groups who are economically dependent on waterfowl hunting.

“I think what they have done is put a bunch of power lines suggestions across the map,” Bell said. “The bad news is, the lines run within two miles of the Squaw Creek Refuge where we concentrate a large number of birds. There are a large number of hunting clubs around the refuge this will affect many areas adjacent to our boundary. Waterfowl will be deflected away from these clubs, hurting the local economy.”

Bell fears that this interference will hurt the community’s financial resources and fewer birds will come back to the refuge.

“Even worse,” he said. “We have already had three trumpeter swans this winter killed by hitting power lines. We had 314 trumpeter swans visit this fall and none 10 years ago. We are very protective of these birds.”

Most in the wildlife groups and Mound City community feel the power lines are probably needed, but should be built away from the hunting and refuge center.

Mike Wolfe, veteran Mound City hunter [stated,] “I have three generations of family that comes here every fall from Colorado, New York, Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota and there would be no reason for them to come to Mound City ever again. Move the power line north above Craig, Mo., where there are no concentrations of wetlands or refuge property.”

Residents have been told a decision on the location of the power lines will be made this month.

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