Thursday, December 7

An association appeals the approval of three wind farms in León for affecting the Cantabrian capercaillie

The Platform for the Defense of the Cantabrian Mountains, through its Legal Fund, has appealed the administrative authorizations of the three wind complexes of the Villameca node (León), Peña del Gato, La Espina and Valdesamario, due to their “affectation” on the Cantabrian capercaillie, a species in “critical danger of extinction” that has its last refuges in the territories occupied by these parks.

Through a statement, the platform explained that the three complexes, built more than a decade ago, were paralyzed by the courts for, among other reasons, this “direct effect” on the species.

However, in an “unprecedented turn”, the plaintiff association in that judicial file and the promoters, together with the Junta de Castilla y León, reached an agreement that allowed the new processing of administrative authorization that is now being appealed.

The new procedure has raised “again the same and identical complexes, already built, once again denying that condition to try to avoid the sentence handed down”, so that in total there are 45 wind turbines that were installed on a habitat that is a distribution area of the Cantabrian capercaillie, specifically the southernmost edge of its distribution in the Iberian Peninsula.

The impact of the structures is added to that of the ancillary works (access tracks, power lines), which is why in the last ten years there have been several cases of direct impact on capercaillies in this area.

Specifically, the platform has recalled that in the execution works of another wind complex of the same promoter (San Feliz wind complex), the nest of a radio-tagged capercaillie was destroyed by the Autonomous Administration, which led to the cancellation of said project and In addition, recently there was the case of a female killed by impact with a wind turbine in the neighboring Valdelín wind complex.

All this “framed” in a situation in which there are less than 300 specimens of this species, since “a good part of the wind turbines of the three wind complexes are installed in areas considered to be of Maximum Sensitivity, according to the Miterd zoning”.

Capercaillie recovery plan

On the other hand, the platform has stressed that the Recovery Plan for the Cantabrian Capercaillie considers these territories within the range of areas of potential occupation and that the resources presented have included, “as a precautionary measure, the request to maintain the paralysis of the wind complexes as long as these resources are resolved”.

The intention of the fund is “to raise how many actions are necessary for these complexes to be dismantled, as the most elementary logic indicates before an action that was declared illegal by the TSJCyL.”

This action against the aforementioned wind complexes joins other actions initiated by the fund, among them the appeals against three complexes in Galicia or the recently filed appeal against the El Escudo wind complex, on the Cantabria-Burgos border.