Included in its activities were the development of “life of project” bird and bat conservation strategies, informed curtailment, prey reduction, the study of eagle biology turbine interactions associated with collision risk and rigorous monitoring of migratory bird mortalities occurring at those facilities. In addition to these monitoring and management requirements, Duke Energy provided $340,000 for conservation of golden eagle habitat as compensatory mitigation.


The Conservation Fund worked in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy to identify a conservation project that could compensate for golden eagle mortality at two of the wind power sites in Wyoming. The mitigation funding provided by Duke Energy was matched by grant funding from the Knobloch Family Foundation and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust to acquire a perpetual conservation easement on a 3,802-acre working cattle ranch, in private ownership, where 69 active golden eagle nests had been documented within a 3-mile radius of the property.

This ranch, situated along Muddy Creek in Carbon County, Wyoming, is part of the Little Snake River Conservation Priority Area, and is surrounded by approximately 75,000 acres of public grazing lands.



The conservation of this property has many benefits beyond safeguarding one of the highest densities of nesting golden eagles in the United States. The mixed grass prairie, riparian streams, sagebrush steppe, greasewood flat and limber pine provide habitat for many other sensitive species such as ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls, greater sage grouse and Gibbens beardtongue, and crucial winter range and migratory routes for mule deer and elk. This property also contains an important highway underpass that allows mule deer and elk to safely migrate annually. The water quality of the streams is protected by the natural functions of the habitat and benefits rare fish species such as the Colorado River cutthroat trout. There is also potential to protect and propagate high quality habitat for other native fish, including bluehead sucker, flannelmouth sucker, roundtail chub, mountain sucker and speckled dace.


The project meets the obligations of the compensatory mitigation while maintaining the economic benefits of traditional agricultural production.