Late last month, Saline County residents with land signed up in the Milligan One wind farm project received a letter asking for no hunting to take place for the next two hunting seasons.
The letter states, “To keep our crews safe during construction, please refrain from any hunting until all work is complete, estimated to be by Dec. 31, 2020.”
The wind project is expected to be operating by 2021 in the Milligan/Tobias area of the county.
According to Jinnie Hall, community relations manager for EDF, this agreement was signed in each land lease.
“Safety of our construction crew and our landowners is our number one priority, thus we insist on strict compliance with this requirement in the lease,” Hall said.
The notice caused concern for landowners and residents in the area.
The letter was posted on a Concerned Citizens of Saline County” Facebook group, with comments such as, “Sorry hunters, guess EDF forgot to mention this small detail,” and “What a smoke blow.”
Landowners are aware the notice is more of an advisory statement, however unpleased they may be.
“It’s not like they can take away hunting rights,” Darrel Hayek, Friend resident, said.
Those in the area who want to hunt can still do so.
Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, Virginia, also issued a statement regarding its procedures during hunting season. Apex is set to build the Cornhusker Harvest wind project, to be located in the Wilber/Milligan portion of the county.
“Apex works closely with project communities and participating landowners to prioritize safety during every phase of our projects, from development to construction to operation,” project developer Dylan Ikkala said. “We know hunting is important to many landowners and residents in our project area, and we’re committed to working with community stakeholders to minimize the disturbance project construction may cause.”
Once hunting season begins during the Apex construction period, landowners will be notified area-by-area, as workers build from north to south or vice versa on hunting safety and advised limitations, instead of the yearly span of time issued by EDF.
“We work to communicate proactively with landowners throughout the process, and notify them specifically when our construction activities must impact their hunting leases,” Ikkala said.
Contractors will meet with safety advisors on behalf of Apex Clean Energy on procedures once hunting season begins.