BILLINGS, Mont. -

A state judge says a lawsuit over protections for eagles and other birds living adjacent to a wind farm near the Canada border should be heard in Montana.

San Diego Gas & Electric has accused the developer of the 126-turbine Rim Rock wind farm of concealing the risks the project poses to birds.

Spain-based wind power developer NaturEner says SDG&E simply wants out of an unfavorable contract to buy power credits from the project. SDG&E also wants to cancel a pledged $245 million investment.

The two sides have filed dueling lawsuits, with SDG&E trying to have the matter heard in California court.

Montana District Judge Brenda Gilbert ruled on April 25 that Montana is the proper venue because of Rim Rocks' economic importance to Glacier and Toole counties.