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Ashe County commissioners should be commended  

Regarding your article “Ashe board approves ordinance “¦ “ (Feb. 20), the Ashe County commissioners should be commended for leading our state in developing a local ordinance that protects their mountain resources and all their citizens. While recognizing the need for the development of alternative energy sources, Ashe County has made its position clear that development of 400-foot-high wind turbines on mountain ridges is not acceptable.

While deferring to N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s interpretation that giant turbines violate N.C.’s Ridge Law, Ashe has had the foresight to protect the county’s unique ridgetop landscape and those who would potentially live or work under these industrial sites with an ordinance, should an ordinance be needed.

Richard Calhoun, who is seeking this personal $65 million wind facility, referred to the commissioner’s vote as “haphazard zoning.” As a recent Ashe County commissioner, he should understand that protecting all Ashe citizens, not just the few wealthy landowners who happen to own ridgetops, is not “haphazard,” but is democracy at work.

The courage shown by the commissioners in protecting the unique natural environment, economy, culture and heritage of their part of the Blue Ridge Mountains provides a powerful example for all N.C. mountain counties.

Johnny Burleson



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