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Slow down on turbines

Everyone is for “green energy” and wind turbines. That is not the issue. The issues are putting them in the right place, where they make sense and having this done by a company that has experience in this and knows what it is doing.

For example, one proposal would put two turbines in a forest between Hwy. 246 and Lamb Avenue near Dennison. This forest has been here for over 100 years and once was part of the original “big woods.” These turbines are huge. They would, in effect, clear cut the woods to put up the turbines and have them operate efficiently. Turbines are good but trees are better.

The next time you drive down 246 toward Nerstrand look to the left at the beautiful forested ridge line. Now picture a big bite out of this, where the trees are gone and instead we have two 327-foot-tall wind turbines. For the next 30 years everyone passing here will look at this and say “who did that” and “who approved that.” We have enough open farm land so we don’t have to sacrifice a forest.

The company that wants to do this is the Medin family – no relation to anyone living in Rice County. They have never done this before. They tried just north of us in Dakota County but the people around their proposed wind farm – led by many people including Greg Langer, the township supervisor, forced them to withdraw. Now they are trying in our county but this time with only one or two turbines on separate properties scattered across the county. I think they decided on this “divide and conquer” approach to make it more difficult for people to organize and ask the hard questions.

I believe we should be careful and do our due diligence. There is a big rush to get these approved before the deadline to receive stimulus money. But these turbines will be here for 30 years. I think we should slow down and look at this carefully – and make sure we promote business and entrepreneurship, but without hurting anyone.

Ron McDonald
Nerstrand