HAMMOND – The president of Concerned Residents of Hammond is putting her organization’s support behind Save the River’s request for a three-year moratorium on industrial wind development for the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River.
The Hammond group also supports the findings of the recently released report by expert ornithologists Gerald Smith and William Evans, which also suggests the need for a moratorium that allows time to study the avian and bat populations on both sides of the river, according to Concerned Residents President Mary D. Hamilton.
“Our group shares the concerns that wind development needs further examination to determine if it is ‘right for our area’, understanding that this alarm is based on data regarding the demise of a large number of bats and birds at the hands of the turbine blades turning on Wolfe Island. Bats perform a huge service to the human population as they are one of the first lines of defense against the mosquito-borne West Nile virus as well as Eastern Equine Encephalitis that is becoming a serious problem in areas just south of us in Oneida and Oswego counties where they are now spraying toxic chemicals to help control the outbreaks,” Mrs. Hamilton said in a press release.
“With regard to the avian population, anyone who has lived in this area and has the slightest interest in wildlife knows we are a major migratory area,” said Mrs. Hamilton. “You just have to watch the sky.”
In addition to the important environmental concerns voiced by STR and Evans and Smith, the Concerned Residents feel this alarm can easily be extended to many issues including, but not limited to, rational and transparent energy policy making, human health and safety, quality of life, property values of non-participating residents and the survival of tourism and historical significance in this region.
Mrs. Hamilton concluded by stating, “Wolfe Island should be a large RED FLAG for everyone when it comes to wind development in this area. What has happened there is an indication of what will happen all along the river.
“We stand with STR as well as Evans and Smith, in asking all communities and governmental agencies along both sides of ‘The River’ to call for and implement a ‘time out’ from industrial wind development so an in-depth study can be completed. We encourage everyone to make their voices heard by contacting or writing letters to their town and county officials, as well as the agency heads that are listed in the Evans and Smith report (posted at www.croh.org).”
Taking three years to investigate an issue as major as this is only fair to the ecological survival of this region as well as to the future of our children and grandchildren, Mrs. Hamilton said.
“We feel this will also give the public a chance to see if the wind developers interested in forever changing the quality of our amazing natural surroundings find federal incentives more enticing than doing what is right for our area,” she said.
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