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Lowell Mountain: Protesters to hold Earth Day open house

LOWELL – Opponents of the Lowell wind project, the Lowell Mountain Occupiers, are hosting another open house, this time on Earth Day.

The open house is Sunday on the mountain, within view of the crane path constructed by Green Mountain Power on the ridgeline.

The Legislature continues to support bills that encourage construction of utility-scale wind projects, even on ecologically sensitive and highly visible ridgelines, said open house organizer Carrie Glesser.

“There are many options out there for reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuel dependence, and it’s important that people have a clear picture of the pros and cons,” Glesser said.

“Projects are in the planning stages for many mountains around the state and the people of Vermont are looking for information. We hope the open house will help folks learn from what is happening to the Lowells and assist them with making better decisions for Vermont’s energy future,” she said.

Several legislators are expected to participate.

“There’s no better way to commemorate Earth Day than to become a better informed citizen of your environment. That’s what the open house is all about,” said Dr. Ron Holland, one of the protesters who is facing charges of trespassing on the Lowell wind site last fall.

Communities in the Northeast Kingdom are facing a series of wind projects:

— Sheffield’s 16 turbines are operating;

— The Lowell wind project has a permit from state utility regulators, although not all conditions have been met yet. It is due to be constructed this summer, while opponents await a Vermont Supreme Court appeal;

— The Derby Line Wind Project developers are seeking a permit for two turbines in Derby;

— A developer wants to erect 30 or more in the Brighton-Ferdinand-Newark area.

“You’ve heard the debates,” the Mountain Occupiers said in a poster about the open house. “If you are concerned or curious about this issue, or wondering what all the fuss is about, the Mountain Occupiers invite you to climb the Lowell Mountains for the Mountaintop Open House.”

Open house participants are asked to meet at the Albany Community School on Route 14 at 11:30 a.m. to carpool to the mountain base where there will be an informal overview of the project.

Groups will be taken up to property adjacent to the Lowell wind construction site. The climb is 30 to 60 minutes. Participants are encouraged to wear hiking shoes or rubber boots and bring warm layers of clothing and a walking stick, plus a day pack with water, lunch and snacks.

The open house on the top will feature a site orientation and a question-and-answer period, followed by lunch.

The open house will occur rain or shine.

For information, contact Anne Morse at amorse@sterlingcollege.edu or at 802-281-4432.