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Battling windmills  

Gary Hatfield feels like Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha.” However, the avid chukar hunter from Mountain Home Village is battling to stop the building of actual windmills on some of the best chukar and quail hunting habitat in the West Mojave Desert.

This week the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the county of San Bernardino have agreed to extend the comment period for the Granite Mountain Wind Energy Project to May 5. The extension was granted after a little-noticed public scoping meeting was met with overwhelming public concern from both residents in surrounding areas and desert users like Hatfield.

Granite Wind has proposed a huge wind farm on public and private lands on the peaks and ridges of the Granite Mountains between Apple Valley and Lucerne Valley. The proposal would consist of 27 wind turbines built along more than a mile of ridgeline – right in the heart of some of the best chukar hunting in the Granite Mountains.

“This is a spiritual place for me,” said Hatfield, who says the wind farm would impact hunters, wildlife (including bighorn sheep), off-road enthusiasts, and desert views for most of the residents in Apple Valley. Hatfield, who’s not against wind power, suggested the company look for less environmentally sensitive locations that weren’t on top of peaks.

Jim Matthews

San Bernardino County Sun

3 April 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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