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Arran Lake a natural treasure worth saving; Wind turbines threaten scenery, bird habitat  

Shawn Giilck’s excellent outdoors article on Arran Lake pointed out the beauty and natural heritage value of the largest body of water in southern Bruce County.

The lake is nestled in a series of drumlin hills which are provincially significant areas of natural and scientific interest.

Loons, egrets, loggerhead shrikes and sandhill cranes all frequent the lake. It is visited on a daily basis by great blue herons and other sensitive species that nest on the Chantry Island Federal Bird Sanctuary, seven miles west at Southampton. Arran Lake is listed by the Grey-Sauble Conservation Authority as an important wetland stop-over for migratory birds and the surrounding hills are the home of a great variety of raptors and songbirds.

The views of the lake froim the west side are outstanding. They attract photographers, naturalists and artists and each year the Southampton Art School runs a course on outdoor painting based around the lake. Fishing is a year-round activity, even through the ice.

But there is an ominous threat looming over all this unspoiled beauty. Developers are attempting to build giant wind turbines around three sides of the southern end of the lake. Unfortunately there is a growing body of evidence that shows that wind turbines are detrimental to migratory birds and bats and degrade sensitive natural habitats. Even wind power developers admit that turbines should not be placed on migratory bird flyways.

European experience demonstrates that wind farms have a negative effect on tourism. The Friends of Arran Lake as well as the Bruce County Federation of Agriculture want Bruce County’s planning department to protect our outstanding natural heritage and recreation facilities by “constraint mapping” reserving the most valuable natural areas to be free from industrial wind turbine developments. After all, it makes sense! Why spoil the scenery of priceless natural treasures like Arran Lake and the Saugeen River valley with monstrous industrial wind turbines, miles of ugly transmission lines and buzzing transformers?

We believe that our county should be mapped out carefully and wind turbine developments should be restricted to areas with less attractive landscapes, less sensitive natural environments, and of little interest to tourism and outdoor recreation. If you agree, will you please write to Bruce County council and your MPP? Please help us save this outstanding natural treasure for your grandchildren.

Keith Stelling

The Friends of Arran Lake

Owen Sound Sun Times

15 August 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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