Green Mountain Power is building a 21 turbine wind project on Lowell Mountain in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The adjacent land is owned by Don and Shirley Nelson, who oppose the project. They have allowed protesters to camp on their property, within the construction blasting zone. Last week the Nelsons lost a legal petition that claimed the construction blast zone violated their first amendment rights to free assembly on their property. On Saturday, and again on Monday, a group of people who refer to themselves as the Lowell Mountain Occupiers moved their camp closer to, and planted trees in, the construction area. Occupier Steve Wright.
More than the symbolism of planting trees, Occupier Stacy Burke says her concern is property rights.
Lowell Mountain Occupier Ron Holland was on site early Monday morning. He said the local sheriff read an injunction that requires them to leave or be arrested for contempt of court.
Again Steve Wright.
Green Mountain Power has legal rights to the land according to company spokesperson Dorothy Schnure.
Schnure says it’s only about 10 people who are opposed to the project that are active on the mountain.
The 63 mega-watt wind power project is targeted for completion by the end of 2012. 75 percent of the voters in the Town of Lowell approved the project during a Town Meeting Day referendum.