The residents of Highland Plantation held a Press Conference today, with the Mountains of Highland in the background as they spoke. Very few members of the Press had bothered to make the drive to this remote corner of Maine, but those that did were rewarded with both the natural beauty as well as the inspiring sight of Mainers standing up for their rights.
The Highlanders announced that they had gathered the signatures of a majority of the registered voters in town on a petition opposing any Industrial Wind Project within their borders.
They are asking LURC to hear their voices and to not only accept the withdrawal of the Highland Wind LLC permit application, but to also make sure that no similar application is ever granted a permit in Highland.
Wind Developers like Angus King and Rob Gardiner like to say that people are in favor of wind development. The honest truth is; the people who have to deal with the negative effects of these developments have educated themselves, and they are saying; “NO!” They are saying it loudly, and it is time that the State of Maine paid attention!
Several residents of Highland spoke today, and the message was loud and clear. Industrial wind does not belong in these Mountains or in this community!
Perhaps Rose Staton said it best in the last line of her statement to the press:
“Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife speaks for the animals and environment; The Appalachian Trail Club speaks for the tourists and hikers; We speak for the Highland residents and we say ‘NO’ to industrial wind in Highland Plantation.”
I was proud to stand with my Highland neighbors today, and I hope that LURC, the Legislature, and the People of Maine are paying attention.
The Press Release is below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Highland Plantation Residents Oppose King’s Wind Development
By a majority, the residents of Highland Plantation, as evidenced by signed petitions, have come out in strong opposition to a development proposal submitted by Highland Wind LLC, of Brunswick, Maine, owned by former governor Angus King and Rob Gardiner, former president of Maine Public Broadcasting.
The development proposal for a large grid-scale industrial wind facility called for the construction of thirty-nine 40-story turbines, 18.2 miles of slope-side and ridge-top roads, and the blasting and excavation of more than 1.5 million cubic yards of mountain soil and bedrock. In order to install the turbines and build a new high-voltage transmission corridor, hundreds of acres of forestland would be permanently cleared. Flashing red lights would be installed atop many of the nacelles and the permanent meteorological towers.
Highland Plantation stands at the gateway to the Bigelow Preserve and the Appalachian Trail, and is a rural community rich in native wildlife, including several species which are threatened or of ‘special concern’. The residents of Highland live here because we appreciate the beauty and bounty of one of the last undeveloped wilderness regions east of the Mississippi.
We believe that this precious region must be protected, and Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife agrees with us. In Agency Review comments submitted to Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission on April 13, 2011, MDIFW stated that, having worked with the developers since 2007, and after “considerable discussions and previous project modifications, an array of concerns remain unresolved and are evident… We conclude that the collective wildlife concerns detailed above demonstrate that this is not an appropriate locality for an intensive wind energy installation such as that currently proposed by Highland Wind Power.”
We are joined by intervenors Friends of the Highland Mountains, Friends of Maine’s Mountains, Forest Ecology Network, Greg and Jenn Perkins and Fletcher Mountain Outfitters in demanding the permanent withdrawal of Highland Wind LLC’s permit application for a wind turbine facility atop Highland’s five mountains, and an abandonment of any future plans to build an industrial wind plant within our borders.
As a community which falls under LURC jurisdiction, we ask that our voices be heard in Augusta, and that our collective will as residents and tax-payers of this state be given the weight it deserves.
Contact Greg and Pat Drummond (207) 628-3333 or 628-4681 or Jarrett and Rose Staton (207) 628-4761
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