Editor of the Reformer:
I feel the need to defend myself, my position and to educate your readers, especially the author of the Oct. 10 letter, “Backyard views don’t rival climate change.” That author, when he wrote “Shame on the letter writer, only thinking of her backyard views,” apparently believes my only reason for opposing Deerfield Wind’s proposed energy facility project in Searsburg and Readsboro is that my ridgeline view will be ruined. Untrue. For the record, I live within one mile of this proposed project. I would hear the wind turbines from my home but probably not see them. There are many negative aspects of this particular proposed project. Allow me to list some of them here, condensed for space constraints:
1. This proposed project would destroy 80 acres of pristine ridgeline on National Forest Service land. This would set a detrimental precedent for this state and the nation.
2. The U.S. Forest Service’s 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Green Mountain National Forest identifies 37 sites, with a total of 19,700 acres, as viable and suitable locations for wind power development. This proposed site in Searsburg and Readsboro is one of these sites that the Forest Service has classified as “Diverse Forest Use.”
3. Seventeen 410-foot-tall turbines are proposed. They would be 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. The existing Searsburg turbines are just under 200 feet tall.
4. The turbines will have red flashing lights per FAA regulations which will make our clear Vermont night skies a thing of the past.
5. Not enough energy will be produced (a potential maximum of only 1.5 percent of Vermont’s annual load) to warrant the sacrifice of our National Forest lands.
6. The turbines are so tall that migrating birds and bats will be susceptible to colliding with the rotating blades and killed.
7. The beech stand most used by bears in this state (almost 500 trees) will be destroyed.
8. More than 50 homes are located within one mile of this proposed site.
9. Numerous documented medical studies have shown many adverse health effects of wind power for those living closest to turbines from the noise and shadows of the blades. These include insomnia, irritability, depression and many other conditions.
10. Wind energy is not entirely “clean” energy. Fossil fuels are still required to power the turbines.
11. There are no guarantees that any energy produced will be available to local residents or even other Vermonters. It will be sold to the grid.
12. This proposed site, on National Forest land remember, will be closed to the public, denying all of us our rights to snowmobile, hike, or hunt on that land.
13. When the turbines are finally decommissioned, the area will never return to pre-existing conditions. Tons of concrete and rebar will be left in the ground forever.
14. And, yes, current pristine ridgeline views for miles around will be ruined. These proposed turbines with red flashing lights are so massive that they will be a blight on the land.
In my original letter of Oct. 12, I mentioned that these proposed turbines would be visible from many towns merely to point out that this project will not only affect Searsburg and Readsboro. If turbines are allowed to be built on National Forest land, it will start a freight train of ridgeline industrialization that we will not be able to stop. If the author of “Backyard View” had read my entire letter, he would have read my statement “Alternate energy sources are needed and should be developed, but a wooded ridgeline in a National Forest is definitely not the right place for a wind energy project.” As for the giant lit turbines, if the author of “Backyard View,” after reading all these negatives and educating himself about wind energy, would still “welcome the day they sit in my fields,” then good for him. I think he, and others who feel the same way, should contact wind farm developers and offer their own private land as future sites. That would save me and everyone else fighting this proposed Searsburg/Readsboro project (and there are many of us) a lot of time and money.
Searsburg, Oct. 24
2 November 2007
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