Birding News: Power-line shift to protect prairie chickens would cost millions

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Power-line shift to protect prairie chickens would cost millions

Protecting a covey of 140 lesser prairie chickens southeast of Dodge City, Kan., could add hundreds of millions of dollars to the price of a critical wind energy power line.

By one estimate, rerouting the proposed line away from the birds’ habitat will increase costs by $567 million — more than $4 million a bird.

Yet those same birds spend part of the winter dodging hunters’ bullets. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks — which supports moving the power line — for $20.50 issues licenses to shoot up to 40 of the birds.

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