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Hands off Aspen Mountain

I feel the need to comment on current plans for wind generation in Sweetwater County. Planning is under way for a farm on White Mountain, one or two on Aspen Mountain, and then a massive one in the eastern end of the county that will probably go all the way from the continental divide, down to the Colorado border and maybe all the way to hook up with the Arlington wind farm.

This is a pretty large area to sacrifice to the wind industry and doesn’t even consider the transmission line projects and more petroleum drilling areas being proposed by BLM and the various drilling companies in the same area. I can already guess that the Aspen Mountain farm will be right in the middle of where the small elk herd survives tenaciously.

Supporters of these farms claim there are no sage grouse claim there are no sage grouse living in areas proposed for windmills. I think they lie. If there are no sage grouse living in this part of the state, close to the few small springs and pockets of habitat not yet destroyed, then where do they live?

I know there are eagles, hawks, owls living in this part of the world and I for one am not willing that these wind farms replace their habitats. California had the first wind farms and have done a study that resulted in some recommendations designed to limit bird mortality. Are any of these farms going to follow those recommendations or develop new procedures that will negate wiping off the map the little pockets of wildlife left in Sweetwater County?

I would demand wildlife necessities be determined and be foremost in any discussion of wind farm placement. Sublette County lost one-half of its mule deer herd in just two years of Jonah Field operation. The writing is on the wall for the little left in Sweetwater County, I’m afraid.

Speaking about the Jonah Field, put the windmills there, along with the proposed transmission lines.

If there absolutely has to be wind farms in Sweetwater County, I say “no” and “hands off” to any development on Aspen Mountain. This county desperately needs an industry exclusion zone. People need a place where industry has not sucked all the intangible qualities from the land and where some wildlife can remain and thrive.