On behalf of our 340,000 members, the National Parks Conservation Association would like to thank you for your courageous and vociferous efforts which helped bring the Town of Wellfleet to the decision not to pursue funding for the proposed wind turbine project.
As America’s leading voice in protecting and enhancing our national parks and historic sites, NFCA’s members care deeply for America’s shared natural and cultural heritage preserved by the National Park System. NPCA was contacted by Save Our Seashore in late 2009 about the proposed wind turbine project in Wellfieet, and we were very concerned about the project’s potential impact on the values and resources of Cape Cod National Seashore. However, as a national organization, and one that fervently favors clean and renewable energy, we moved carefully on the issue; perhaps too carefully for your preferences, but with limited resources it was the best we could do. Please know that after much additional research to that which you provided, internal dialogue, and even a revision of our policies, we had been gearing up to join you in opposition to the project. In fact, we reached out to selected officials throughout the months of February and March and conveyed our concerns about the project. So, like you, we are indeed relieved by the Board of Selectmen’s decision.
As you know, in 1961 Congress established Cape Cod National Seashore to preserve and protect the nationally significant landscape of Cape Cod. Congress intended to maintain the area’s historic way of life and scenic integrity so that “Cape Cod may be preserved in substantially its present condition,” and over 4.5 million people visit Cape Cod each year for this very experience. Therefore, while the generation of clean and green energy is an honorable and extremely important goal, after much consideration NPCA concluded that the approximately 410 foot tall, 1.5 megawatt Vestas V90 wind turbine would have significantly and unalterably affected the park’s viewshed and historic character, and moreover perhaps set a precedent for additional turbines on Cape Cod.
Albeit crafted with the best of intentions, the proposed turbine would have been an inappropriate development, and we commend your diligence in protecting Cape Cod National Seashore from it. As NPCA friend and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns recently said, “The story of the national parks is the story of people. People from every conceivable background … People who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved – and in doing so, reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.” Save Our Seashore, under your leadership, now comes to mind in such a light. Your clarion call to protect Cape Cod National Seashore is a reminder of that same and significant democracy: a small group of individuals, equipped with only the courage of their convictions, who love a special place, and who have stood up and protected that place for generations to come.
Our deep thanks to you.
Senior Program Coordinator
Download original document: “NPCA to Save Our Seashore – Wellfleet Wind Turbine”
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