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Lawsuit aims to stop wind farm near Columbia River Gorge  

A newly formed citizens ­organization has filed a ­lawsuit to block a wind farm from ­rising within sight of the Columbia River Gorge.

Save Our Scenic Area, a nonprofit organization based in Underwood, filed the lawsuit against Skamania County in Clark County Superior Court earlier this week.

The group contends ­Skamania County is violating the state Growth Management Act by failing to adequately protect commercial ­timberland and failing to ­properly zone the area where 44 giant wind turbines would rise.

The group’s Seattle-based attorney said residents are concerned about a proposal by SDS Lumber Co. to locate a wind farm just outside the boundary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

“They are concerned that these developments would impact residential values in one of the premier, if not the premier, scenic area in the United States,” attorney Richard ­Aramburu said.

Skamania County Prosecutor Peter Banks said Thursday morning that the county had not yet been served with the lawsuit, so he had no comment.
Jason Spadaro, SDS president, could not be reached.

“You can put wind farms anywhere,” said Witt Maxey, an Underwood resident who serves on the group’s board of directors. “You cannot pick up the national scenic area and put it someplace else.”

Save Our Scenic Area was incorporated in Washington as a nonprofit corporation in December. Maxey, who moved to Underwood from Florida a year ago, said he and other area residents oppose wind turbines that tower 360 feet from the ground to the tips of its blades.

“My mama used to tell me, there’s a place for everything,” he said. “They belong in the wheat fields to the east, where there are thousands and thousands of acres of flat land, where it’s windy as hell, and most of the farmers are happy to have them.”

By Erik Robinson
Columbian Staff Writer

The Columbian

7 March 2008

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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