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Wind farms need watching

Re: “Kicking at agriculture development hides hypocrisy,” Will Verboven, Opinion, Nov. 8.

Will Verboven accuses the Alberta Wilderness Association of “hypocrisy” because “this same conservation group does not oppose the proliferation of wind farms that have destroyed thousands of hectares of habitat and kills thousands of birds and bats every year.”

Though the AWA does not oppose wind farms, we have consistently argued that wind development, like oil and gas development, has a significant footprint. Regulation of oil and gas development has failed to effectively manage this sector’s footprint, and it is crucial that we do not make the same mistakes with the developing wind power industry. The AWA continues to oppose the siting of wind power development, and its associated road and transmission line infrastructure, on native grasslands or on public land.

The AWA opposed the Wild Rose II wind farm development near Medicine Hat because it would likely have significant negative effects on native prairie and on migrating bats.

Alberta’s precious native grasslands are under continual threat, whether it comes from oil and gas development, wind farms or plans to plow up native grasslands to grow potatoes. The AWA has always worked toward better protection of our native grasslands, and will continue to do so.

Nigel Douglas, Calgary

Nigel Douglas is a conservation specialist with the Alberta Wilderness Association.