Who cares about Kibby Mountain?
Apparently no one.
Correct that: Two people.
Yep, that’s how many people showed up at the LURC public hearing last night in Carrabassett Valley to speak in defense of Kibby Mountain and oppose a wind energy project there. The two represented the Friends of the Boundary Mountains, the range in which Kibby is a major peak.
Interestingly, the folks from the Maine Audubon Society, the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Appalachian Mountain Club–groups who have vehemently opposed other wind power proposals, like the nearby Redington project abutting the Appalachian Trail, all support Kibby.
Poor Kibby Mountain.
I haven’t even hiked it yet, but I want to save it. I guess a special trip is called for sooner rather than later, before the bulldozers get there. To see the place as it is, to photograph it for posterity. And to imagine what it will one day soon look like adorned with “44 towers, each about 41 stories high, to run along 13 miles of ridges on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range.”
Never mind the miles of gravel roads to support the towers and miles more of transmission lines and God know what else for this, New England’s largest wind power deal.
Yes, that’s right, I’ve soured on wind power. Not entirely, but most certainly in places like Kibby. The trade off is too great, too far out of balance. 132 megawatts of power sounds ducky, but at the cost of an entire mountain range?
Not when simple conservation measures, stuff that you and me can do every day, could quantitatively save as much energy as would be produced by the Kibby project.
Smaller scale wind projects in developed areas, industrial areas, urban areas and such, closer in to where the power is actually needed, that’s a better option. Not in our remote mountains.
But alas, who really cares?
Kibby Mountain is just far enough off the grid of our conciousness that we, including our environmental defender friends, can apparently afford to sacrifice it for a few extra watts of juice to power our washing machines, stereos and HDTVs.
Ain’t that nice? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy don’t it?
Think I’m gonna pick a nice warm sunny late October day and make the drive up north to Kibby Mountain for a hike. Make it a wake of sorts. To pay last respects to a mountain that will soon cease to exist as we know it.
You wanna join me?
By Carey Kish
4 October 2007
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