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Maintain pristine battlefield

Your 1/3/2012 article, “Natural Resources Concerned About Wind Project” reported that the developer, Reunion Power, has been informed by Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources that it “…did not see a way of overcoming the [rare natural habitat] resource obstacles …” that the development of 21 industrial wind turbines would present on Pittsford Ridge. I found it curious that the article contained no report about input from the Division of Historic Preservation. Perhaps the developer hasn’t approached that agency as yet, but, when that happens, the guidance against pursuing development should be even more strongly stated.

The fatal flaw of this proposal would be its devastating visual impact on historic and cultural resources. The Hubbardton Battlefield lies less than 1 mile below the proposed site, and in direct sightline of Pittsford Ridge.

Hubbardton, barely encroached upon over the past 235 years, is often described as America’s most pristine battlefield (Revolutionary or Civil). The rear guard action conducted by Colonel Seth Warner’s Green Mountain Boys, on the morning of July 7, 1777, stopped General Burgoyne’s redcoats in their tracks and allowed the main American force to escape to Castleton and later prevail at Battle of Bennington.

This proved to be the beginning of the end for King George’s northern army, who ultimately surrendered that October at Saratoga. At that time, it was the Colonial Army’s only success and was key to keeping the hopes of our Revolution alive.

The significance of this proposal’s impact will not be lost upon the many organizations that care deeply about our Revolution’s landmarks. State and federal permitting agencies will have a duty, by law, to mitigate impacts. It appears that the only way to accomplish that would be to locate the towers out of sight from Hubbardton.

In all likelihood this will reduce the available wind and hamper the project’s commercial value. Reunion Power has alluded to studying alternative sites. Surely Pittsford Ridge can’t be its best prospect.