In 1970, my husband and I leased a lot on the shores of Garland Pond. At the time our children were quite young. We cleared the lot and built a camp with nothing but a handsaw and hammer. We wanted a place for our children to grow and experience the outdoors while keeping out of trouble.
In the 1980s, we were able to buy the land we had been leasing. That came with many covenants, including no electricity, and keeping the area as natural and pristine as possible.
Now, Robert Gardiner, Angus King and Wagner Forest Management want to turn this into an industrial area by putting up a wind farm.
Last August, they held an informational meeting at Garland Pond. We were told then that they intended on putting up 25 windmills, with another four going up later if they could buy a piece of land on Old Turk Mountain if another company can get permits. This would mean that there would be windmills on Route 17 from Rumford to Byron, which is designated as a scenic highway.
At Byron’s town meeting on March 10, that plan was voted down, but is only the beginning of a long fight. I believe the developers are going to use every resource in their power to get the plans approved.
I hope people will keep fighting the development. If it is ever approved, other industrial companies will be able to develop that area, with no local benefits.
Jackie Waite, Mexico
23 March 2008
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