Connecticut Hill is the highest point in Tompkins County. It is a point of interest on the Finger Lakes Trail and just a short hike or drive from the Land Trust’s Stevenson Forest Preserve. One can see the north end of Cayuta Lake. As does Connecticut Hill, Cayuta Lake attracts migratory birds.
Wind farm developer John Rancich proposes eight to 14 full size 400-foot towers with rotating blades. The towers will be placed directly in front of and at the foot of the county’s highest natural point. At elevations of 1960 feet on Buck Hill and approximately 1,800 feet in these proposed field locations, the towers will rise above and clutter the skyscape and adjacent hill. The nearby situation, chain link fence and high voltage warning will surely clutter the landscape. Make no mistake, wind farms are industrialization of rural and scenic areas.
While daily bird kill may appear minimal, the cumulative effect over the next 20-25 years, the life span of towers, will be devastating to bird populations and their genetic pool.
Residents who live on the hill have every right to say “not in my backyard.” While wind developers appear community minded in offering towns to buy into the energy industry, the minute a taxpayer speaks up to defend their home investment, the developer hollers NIMBY making the taxpayer feel guilty. The developer? He is seeking property tax breaks. Eventually property becomes devalued. While some may applaud, devalued property is vulnerable.
People decry the loss of polar bear habitat but don’t notice the birds in their own landscape. Not all nature belongs in a nature center.
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