There have been many observations concerning the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project nearing completion overlooking Kittitas Valley. Many residents and people passing through are outraged and appalled at the ruination of their aesthetic view of the Stuart Mountain range. The 410-foot towers are visible from all over the valley and from Interstate 90, state Route 10, from the town of Ellensburg and from the entire west side of the valley. They are not yet operational, but already people are complaining about the muddy drinking water from wells from the blasting, the increased rattlesnake activity and the influx of mice and rats. No one was aware of how much impact this power-generating plant has impacted the views, and may impact their homes, drinking water and irrigation.
In the spring, another wind farm, Desert Claim, will begin construction. This one has twice as many towers and will completely cover the western foothills and mountains. This one is even more in the valley among residents, livestock and hay fields. The Yakima River Basin water rights adjudication decision grants many who live here the right to irrigate their land and water their livestock from the streams that criss-cross through the project area. Asked what the developers are going to do to protect those water rights, their answer was, “What water rights?”
I feel there needs to be a moratorium put in place on the development of Desert Claim until the full impact of the Kittitas Valley Wind Power Project can be evaluated. I know our dictatorial governor gave them permission to build but they’ve waited until 2003 to ruin over valley, surely they can be held at bay another year or two until the powers that be have the time to evaluate the impact. Under the development agreement signed by our governor, the French company enXco has five years to begin development. That means they have until 2014. Those of you in position to postpone the ruination of our valley, please act now. Surely our valley is worth protecting. It is an election year. Stand up and fight for the rights of our citizens.
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