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Osage County Tables Wind Energy Proposal Vote (Mar 21, 2011)

PAWHUSKA, Okla. (AP) — Osage County commissioners have tabled a vote on an ordinance that would regulate proposed wind farms in the area.

The Tulsa World reports the commissioners took the action Monday on the wind energy ordinance, which has been criticized the conservationists, tribal leaders and others.

Developers have proposed building two 150-megawatt wind farms on vast private ranches east of Pawhuska, near the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Osage Nation are among groups asking for a stronger permitting process, which they say would protect breeding grounds for prairie chickens and eagles as well as tribal burial grounds and minerals owned by the Osage tribe.

Rancher and preservationist Lee Holcombe says the process to develop the ordinance should proceed slowly.

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