I suspect that in the future some ambitious person will write a history of industrial wind power in Maine and in that book will be a chapter on the Highland Wind project in Highland Plantation.
The cast of characters, the plot and the long winding road to resolution will make for an interesting read.
Angus King, past Maine governor, and Robert Gardiner, former director of the state’s Bureau of Public Lands – now turned wind developers – versus the critters on the mountaintops that block their access to tens of millions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury for their project.
Then there is the owner of the land for the proposed project – Yale University – that works in the background behind a front organization known as Bayroot, LLC. Until recently Yale was only known as the “Client” and was represented by their land manager. Its School of Forestry and Environmental Studies offers such courses as Environmental Ethics and Wildlife Ecology.
Although not in the thick of battle, but still having influence on wind development, are the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the same conservation organization that is against sprawl in the valleys but for it on mountaintops, and Maine Audubon, whose best defense of mountaintop wind is that house cats kill more birds than wind turbines.
The final outcome of the project could be written today if Mr. King would admit that based upon science the Highland Mountains are not appropriate for wind development.
Will NRCM and Audubon take a stand against this project and perhaps nudge Mr. King to call it a day or will NRCM continue their “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” wind development philosophy and say the demise of wildlife habitat, migratory birds and raptors is the price that must be paid for saving the Earth from climate change?
Likewise, will Yale University stand up for its professed concern for the environment and pull the plug?
Carrying Place Town Twp.
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