The July 26 Livingston Enterprise revealed that Sagebrush Energy from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where regulations prohibit such development, plans to build a 20-megawatt wind project about three miles up the Mission Creek Road. The farm will include eight to 11 turbines, each over 40 stories tall. A new transmission line would run alongside the road.
The project came as a surprise to those who live here. There was no community involvement before the announcement and has been very little since. The majority of landowners in the two-mile area surrounding the project are opposed to it. The turbines could be installed as early as next summer.
The Mission Creek valley is a beautiful and relatively untouched area. This would industrialize it.
The Mission Creek area is also a historically important nesting ground for golden eagles. It has been studied intensively since 1964 by members of the Craighead family.
The golden eagle population in the West is in serious decline. Installing wind turbines with 300-foot blades virtually on top of an important nesting ground without further study makes little sense. No systematic wildlife studies have been conducted by Sagebrush, no environmental assessment scheduled.
We believe strongly in wind power. But some areas are well suited to development, others are not. The Mission Creek valley is not. Many people enjoy its beauty and tranquility, and many species of birds and animals call it home.
Write Northwestern Energy if you think the project should not go forward without proper environmental assessment and review: 40 East Broadway, Butte, MT 59701-9394.
Vanessa and Corky Brittan
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