I was heartened by Dr. Nesselrodt’s letter reporting his sighting of a bald eagle circling over Red Knob and Tamarack Ridge, and his eloquent description of his having the privilege of seeing our national symbol freely soaring over its territory on which Mr. Mitch King would like to ‘plant 19 wind turbines among the cow patties.’
I would like to think that the eagle was staking out its territory and, symbolically, making a statement, to wit: ‘Don’t tread on me!’
Eagles remain protected under federal law against harm to the bird and its habitat. There is no practicable way to mitigate against the potential harm that wind turbines would pose to eagles and their habitats on mountainous ridges. The sacrifice of one eagle for 39 megawatts of energy would be a fool’s bargain and not worthy of the slightest consideration.
It is past time to look seriously as possible ulterior motives that underlie such unrelenting, wrong-headed and irresponsible efforts that thwart the biodiversity of the environment. In general, in instances of such convoluted machinations it is well to follow the money. Who, individually or corporatively, stands to profit? Certainly it is not the majority of Highlanders. Other than the McBrides, one might wonder what Mr. Mitch King stands to profit if the Highland New Wind Development project is permitted to proceed? Or for that matter, what would Mr. Jerry Rexrode (supervisor) profit if he leased his property on Jack Mountain to wind developers, as he is reported to have told Mr. Penn Goodall he would do? His statement corroborates the long suspected interest of large wind energy developers who would come into the county once the HNWD project is up and running.
Is it not likely that Snowy Mountain and other high ridges would suffer the same fate as Jack Mountain? This all became possible following the 2 to 1 vote of the board of supervisors granting a conditional use permit for construction of wind turbines on the McBride lands, which in and of itself presents an interesting question, to wit: If a member of the board of supervisors verbally expressed a witnessed interest in leasing his property to the wind project if it became successful and then casting an affirmative vote granting approval of the HNWD project, does that not constitute a conflict of interest for which the member should recuse himself and, thereby, making the decision of the board null and void?
‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice’ to deceive.’
Orren L. Royal, M.S. (Biol.), M.D.
Captain (MC) USN (Ret.)
Orren L. Royal