Conservationist/wind-energy protest group Rettet den Odenwald (Save the Forest of Odes) here writes that yet another endangered stork nest was recently destroyed at the forested location near a proposed JuWi wind park.
Controversy swirls over German wind park builder JuWi
Normally the clearing of forest land to make way for industry is required to undergo an extremely strict permitting process involving very detailed environmental impact studies. Violations are usually punished extremely harshly. But when it comes to wind parks in Germany, the fox in the henhouse often seems to rule. This also may be the case at a proposed JuWi wind park location in the area of Donnersberg (Palatinate).
Back in 2016 the existence of a nest at the location of interest was proven. The nest belonged to a pair of rare black storks that later gave birth to three offsprings that year, and to four more in 2017. Normally with such a nest in the area, obtaining a permit to clear away forest and to set up an industrial complex would be totally out of the question.
Rare and legally protected black stork nest gets allegedly destroyed in what is suspected to be a criminal attempt to clear the way for a wind park construction permit. Photo see: Rettet den Odenwald
According to Rettet den Odenwald, the nest belonging to the pair of rare black storks appears to have been recently willfully and criminally destroyed.
Earlier, local citizens had worked closely with authorities to stop the construction of five JuWi wind turbines, which had been permitted to be built right close to what later was discovered as the nest belonging to the pair of protected black storks. The black stork pair had been expected to return to its nest by early March to produce offsprings.
Tree and nest destroyed
But then on February 10, 2018, Rettet den Odenwald broke the tragic news: the tree in which the nest had been perched had been singled out and illegally cut down “by unknown attackers” using a power saw, thus preventing the stork pair from returning and successfully nesting this year.
The obstacle blocking the construction of the JuWi windpark in the area was in effect disposed of.
Destroyed tree in the Forest of Odes (Odenwald). Home to the nest of a pair of rare, legally-protected black storks was illegally cut down. Conservationists and wind park opponents suspect foul play by the wind industry. Photo see: Rettet den Odenwald
Path “reopens for greed”
The conservationist Rettet den Odenwald site writes:
This lawbreaking allows the permitting process for the planned and halted wind park to now appear in a new light. … The lawful protection that was established by the provision of facts was illegally undone and thus has again reopened the door for the greed of those with a stake in the wind park.”
The outrage by conservationists and wind park opponents came swiftly and loudly. Already on February 12 Rettet den Odenwald issued a press release in which they demand the Environment Ministry to assure that no permit be granted in the event of such criminal acts and that they take swift action.
JuWi condemns destruction
In a press release, JuWi stated that it “condemns the criminal act in the harshest terms”. Moreover the press release adds: “JuWi is filing criminal charges against unknown perpetrators for violating federal nature protection laws”.
The latest in a series of criminal environmental destruction acts
This is not the first time that nests and homes for protected species located in proposed wind park areas have been destroyed in Germany. Der Spiegel has reported on this before, e.g. see here.
Also read “wind power mafia” destroys stork’s nest here.
When it comes to saving the planet, wind parks seem to get away with everything nowadays. Often times wind turbines get installed right up close to residents and thus make them sick from infrasound, or they ruin idyllic landscapes, destroy biotopes, cause hazards in the North Sea, shred migrating birds, etc. Environmental concerns from citizens be damned!
As far as the wind park in Odenwald is concerned, don’t be surprised if its construction ends up getting permitted soon. Greed disguised as green always gets its way in Germany.