If you’re not suspicious by the use of the weasel word “Parks”, you should be. Better description: Industrial Operation.
While wind power is a vital and necessary means of generating electricity in an appropriate location, i.e, the open tablelands around Shelburne or Dundalk or along the shores of the Great Lakes (with the co-operation of willing landowners), I believe that the erection of gigantic generators in the scenic, forested hills of Central Ontario’s tourist/cottage country (Whitney, Wilno, Denbigh, Killaloe, etc.) is most inappropriate. I do agree, however, that the use of small wind towers on local farms and homesteads make sense.
I don’t think people realize the amount of clear-cutting, road construction or widening and placement of electrical infrastructure that will be required for these projects. Unless these windmills are being dropped into the “parks” by helicopter, those scenic drives along tree-canopied back roads will be a thing of the past: those tractor-trailers will require wide and high clearances to get around the curves and grades. In other words, they will cut every tree between the property lines, minimum. There’s only two routes to the Wilno site: up the Wilno North Rd. (tough corner at Wilno Heritage Park) or across the Scenic Rd. (steep switchback up the Wilno Pass) … or maybe they’ll sneak up the Pecarski Road and hack their way through the woods.
What about the wildlife … are we sure that the environmental studies, carried out by students and funded by the developers, can be trusted given the scope of the project?
Can we always trust the judgment of our municipal representatives? Council was complacent in the selling off of the rail trail right-of-way through Barry’s Bay some years ago (have you tried to snowmobile or ATV through town lately?). More recently, they were the authors of the infamous Zurakowski Park flip-flop fiasco.
Folks, this is one big con job, brought to you by the slickest of the slick. There will be no local jobs of any merit, no cheap electricity and virtually no benefit to the local economy (isn’t that right, Craig Kelley?). Any gains made in the production of “green power”, which I have heard is going to the United States, will be offset by the manufacturing and transportation of the units and the removal of the forest cover.
So, if you’re inclined to sit on the fence, have your head in the sand or simply not care, my hope is that you will take the opportunity to learn more about these Wind Parks and make your opinions known before it’s too late.
And, by the way, what ever happened to all the usual “letter to the editor” writers? You know who they are: the “back to the landers”, the “environmentalists”, the “bite-backers”, “the arts community.” Where are you guys when we really want to hear from you?
18 June 2008
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