I have lived in our small farming/ranching community for 25 years. The Horizon Wind Project and Union County planners had not contacted four of the families that live here, since we didn’t sign up to have wind towers on our properties. We are the ones that have these things less than a half mile away. We have 6 towers on the back hill adjacent to our property.
Since these towers were erected in December, I have had a variety of illnesses and have bled from my nose, mouth, and ear from these things. I lack sleep, have headaches, heart palpitations, and am depressed over not being able to get away from these things. I am sad over the large loss of life in what these things do to the silver, grey, and honey bats and the varieties of birds. It is in direct violation of the 1918 Migratory Bird Act. The largest bird killed was a trumpeter Swan. We lived in a very beautiful and pristine place before. It is like living in hell now.
The story is long and it is filled with greed and none caring what happens out here in Telocaset, and all of Oregon is going wind crazy.
In the summer of 2006, I was approached, in my home, by a representative of the Horizon Wind Project. They wanted me to sign a piece of paper giving me $1,000 a year for the next 30 years if I signed over my place to them for that time. I was 57 at the time. I didn’t sign, thinking that this will stop them from putting it here. I notified the neighbors of their plans.
I called the city planning commission and talked to Colleen McLeod, thinking that she would let me know when the meeting for the approval or disapproval of the wind farms would be held. She asked if I got the paper. I said no. She asked if I watch the local news, I said no. Then she failed to tell me that the meeting was already held and that the four families who own property, but were not included, didn’t get notified back in 2005.
We were told that they didn’t get the right tax records and we weren’t on them. I had lived there almost 25 years, the Whiteheads 40 years, and the Thurstons 19 years. We all paid our property taxes and we weren’t included because we didn’t want these things on or near our property. Also we were small-acreage landowners. The other people own an acre plus, but had just bought it and do not live on it year round, just when they go hunting. We were left out so they could say that their project was 100% OK with them.
The noise from the trucks that first summer was unbearable. They ran day and night on our dirt road. It was a rare sight to see two trucks coming down our road before, but now it was a constant line of them. There were 23 miles of new roads being built along the hillsides. The beautiful land and the quiet beauty that ran with wildlife of elk, deer, and antelope suffered that summer. The herds fled when they could and their natural habitat was gone. The trails that led up the hillside with animals were now torn and fenced. The birds were in constant danger. They killed many varieties of birds and three varieties of bats. My heart was in constant worry whenever I saw one flying nearby. I saw this beautiful Antelope Valley being torn to pieces for a few coins. The ones that make the money don’t love this place or have respect for the inhabitants of her once magnificent beauty. It is a desert land and, as many people say, there is nothing out here. Except there was so much out here and so much beauty – before they came along.
I am so sick all the time. I try to go away at least once a month for a week or so, but it is hard to do in the winterl and the cost is hard on us to manage. I have had blood coming out of my mouth, nose, and once my ears. I can’t sleep well and have a hard time thinking well. I am slower to get things done here. We had to move into my youngest daughter’s room to sleep because the constant red blinking lights aren’t as bad in that inner room. It is not easy to pick up and just leave a home we had put our all into, but when they add more generators here, it will be a totally unbearable sight and experience. Obama and the rest want more of these wind farms. Let them put them up by their homes. No, I don’t want that. I don’t think they should exist anywhere. How about a petition to take these things down in our America, so it can be safe for the animals, birds, bats, and people? How can we have a balanced environment when they have killed so many here in Oregon? We have talked to all the politicians, government agencies, Audubon, Desert Protection – they were working on the Steens’ Project so they could not spare their lawyers for us, and all local people are in with the wind people. I have written letters to the editor and tried to get a lawyer for almost a year after they started tearing this place apart, but they all had conflicts of interest, and an environmental lawyer yelled at me and told me to get an oil company lawyer. They don’t realize what these wind farms do to the environment. They don’t know what they do to our life here on earth. We are supposed to be stewards to the animals and take care to protect them. The Lord knows what is important, why can’t these people see the light?
My eldest daughter thought I was crazy. She lectured me all the way here from town and came to spend a night. She got sick immediately and felt much better after she left here. She said she was so sorry. What a life we can’t have now in our older years here!