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    Source:  Garrett County Democratic State Central Committee

    Public Lands Use by Private Investors  

    Source:  Garrett County Democratic State Central Committee | Maryland

    To: Garrett County Democrats and Garrett County Residents
    From: James R. (“Smokey”) Stanton, Chair, Garrett County Democratic State Central Committee
    Date: January 14, 2008
    Re: Public Lands Use by Private Investors

    Good day, All:

    As you may know, a company named U.S. Wind Force has requested the State of Maryland to allow it to place at least 67 industrial-size wind turbines in Garrett County state forest land, as well as the western part of Allegany County, with more to be built on private land.

    THE GARRETT COUNTY DEMOCRATIC STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE IS ASKING YOU TO IMMEDIATELY CONTACT GOVERNOR O’MALLEY, OUR SENATORS and DELEGATES, and the GARRETT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, REQUESTING THEM TO OPPOSE AND STOP THE PROPOSAL TO USE PUBLIC LAND FOR THIS PURPOSE.

    WE ALSO URGE YOU TO ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING AT GARRETT COLLEGE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30, at 6:30 PM.

    US Wind Force has proposed that the state lease public land in the Potomac State Forest and the Savage River State Forest to erect at least sixty-seven 40-story tall industrial wind turbines. The same company is seeking to construct at least five additional similar plants in or near Garrett County, and there are an additional seventeen plants under consideration by other companies. These are in addition to the existing turbines already placed in Somerset County, PA, Grant County, WV, and other close-by areas. The total number of turbines in Garrett County could easily number 300-400 massive machines.

    There have been approximately 10 letters to the editor and an editorial in The Republican Newspaper, approximately 10 letters to the editor and at least one editorial in The Cumberland Times News. An equal number of letters and an editorial have been in the Baltimore Sun. The original article in the Sun, with illustrations and maps, can be found here.

    We believe our environment – forests, views, wildlife, recreation – must be preserved, and the economic development associated with Deep Creek Lake must be protected for the future. The tourist and vacation industry of Garrett County may be damaged by this type of large scale, industrial use of public lands. Turbines of the proposed size will be able to be seen from most of the County, and it is likely that restrictions would be placed on use of the state forests by the public for a 20-40 year period. This type of development may severely damage lumbering and forest management practices, it likely will restrict hunting, camping, hiking, fishing and other recreational uses. Visitors to our area come because of our beautiful mountains and scenery, not to view propellers on ridge tops in public lands.

    The jobs resulting from this project will be extremely short term construction jobs, lasting only about six to nine months, and are described as skilled – most of these jobs will not be filled by local people. The permanent jobs may be as few as five, and these will be low-paying, minimum-wage maintenance and security jobs. This type of short-term, unstable employment will not help Garrett Countians or young families attempting to make a living and is not a good trade-off.

    All of the electricity generated by the turbines will be sold to the electric power grid. None of the electricity will directly benefit Garrett County residents or businesses.

    Please take these three actions NOW:

    1. Attend the Public Hearing at Garrett College, Wednesday, January 30, 6:30 PM;

    2. Attend the Public Hearing at DNR Headquarters, Thursday, January 31, 6:30 PM if you can;

    3. Call, write, and e-mail your opposition to these 9 elected officials at these addresses:

    Governor MARTIN O’MALLEY
    100 State Circle
    Annapolis, MD 21401
    1-800-811-8336 (toll free)
    http://www.governor.maryland.gov/mail/

    Senator GEORGE C. EDWARDS
    Republican, District 1, Allegany & Garrett Counties, Washington County
    James Senate Office Building, Room 322
    11 Bladen St.,
    Annapolis, MD 21401
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3565 (toll free)
    e-mail: george.edwards@senate.state.md.us

    Delegate WENDELL R. BEITZEL
    Republican, District 1A, Garrett & Allegany Counties
    House Office Building, Room 320
    6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3435 (toll free)
    e-mail: wendell.beitzel@house.state.md.us

    Delegate KEVIN KELLY
    Democrat, District 1B, Allegany County
    House Office Building, Room 320
    6 Bladen St.
    Annapolis, MD 21401
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3404 (toll free)
    e-mail: kevin.kelley@house.state.me.us

    Delegate LeROY E. MYERS, JR.
    Republican, District 1C, Allegany & Washington Counties
    House Office Building, Room 321
    6 Bladen St.,
    Annapolis, MD 21401
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3321 (toll free)
    e-mail: leroy.myers@house.state.md.us

    Delegate ROBERT A. McKEE
    Chair, Western Maryland Delegation
    Republican, District 2A, Washington County
    House Office Building, Room 321
    6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3447 (toll free)
    e-mail: robert.mckee@house.state.md.us

    Dennis G. “Denny” Glotfelty
    Garrett County Commissioner
    Republican, District 3
    County Courthouse,
    203 South Fourth Street
    Room 207
    Oakland, Maryland, 21550.
    301-334-8970
    dglotfelty@garrettcounty.org

    Ernest J. Gregg
    Garrett County Commissioner
    Republican, District 1
    County Courthouse
    203 South Fourth Street
    Room 207
    Oakland, Maryland, 21550.
    301-334-8970
    countycommissioners@garrettcounty.org

    Frederick A. Holliday
    Garrett County Commissioner
    Republican. District 2
    County Courthouse
    203 South Fourth Street
    Room 207
    Oakland, Maryland, 21550.
    301-334-8970
    fholliday@garrettcounty.org

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