It is a feel-good environmental project that will help push California toward its goal of producing electricity with fewer fossil fuels.
It is also a massive industrial project that will forever alter one of the prettiest landscapes in the north state.
It is the Hatchet Ridge Wind Project, an array of windmills that a Portland, Ore.-based company hopes to build in the gusty heights above Burney.
With several dozen towers and turbines reaching up to 418 feet tall, the network would dramatically change the views from the Intermountain area and Highway 299.
It would also, according to the recently released environmental studies, take an unavoidable toll on migrating birds including eagles (yep, them again) and sandhill cranes.
Pit River Indians also use the mountain for spiritual practices.
Love it or hate it, the time is ripe to speak up about the project. Shasta County is accepting comments about the draft environmental impact report through Jan. 28.
The document is available at the Redding and Burney libraries, and at the Shasta County Resource Management office. It’s also online at www.co.shasta.ca.us. (Under “Departments,” click on “Resource Management,” then scroll down to “Hatchet Ridge Wind Project.”)
If the county OKs the windmills, they’ll stand for decades. That makes the next month the time for neighbors to ensure they’re built right.
22 December 2007
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