August 3, 2013
Massachusetts, Opinions

Audubon’s turbine plan disturbing

By Mike Rice | The Cape Codder | Posted Aug 02, 2013 |

As the permitting process for a wind turbine at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is about to begin, I still can’t connect the dots with regard to common sense here. A wind turbine that is smaller than the proposed Audubon turbine and is located on a mountainous island off the coast of Scotland recently killed a very rare white-throated needletail bird as dozens of birdwatchers who witnessed that event were left shocked and horrified (Telegraph London, June 27, 2013,

Seems so hypocritical to me since, according to its website, Wellfleet Audubon’s woodlands attract a wide variety of wildlife, especially songbirds and shorebirds. Also according to its website, in order to avoid conflicts of nature there’s no hunting, fishing or trapping along with some motorized vehicles allowed at the Audubon as well. But apparently a wind turbine isn’t in conflict with nature? Really? That position strikes me as being totally indefensible along with being absolutely absurd!

Also, I don’t get how this proposed wind turbine with a tower height of 120 feet (without the blades) is being classified as a “micro” turbine. Isn’t “micro” smaller in size that itsy-bitsy and teeny-weeny? You know – like “microscopic.” Maybe it’s just me not being able to see the plywood through the trees, or however that adage goes.

Furthermore, here’s a great visual with respect to the height of this turbine – it will stand twice the height of the Wellfleet Fire Tower just off Route 6. Gee, I wonder how many homeowners will see it from their property. After all, it’s just a “micro turbine,” and with the blades attached will stand just a measly 14.2-stories tall!

Since our home is in close proximity to the Audubon sanctuary, I recently posed this question to a very knowledgeable and well-respected Realtor in town: ” If the Audubon is permitted to construct its proposed turbine will it devalue my home? The response: “It certainly won’t help you!” Yikes! Will my home be in a “turbine zone?”

Wake up, Wellfleet; the canary in the coal mine with respect to some possible detrimental affects of this turbine isn’t just singing, it’s screaming.

So as the permitting process for this wind turbine moves forward I ask Wellfleet town officials to consider this statement: “No one has the right to construct something that may devalue the property of others along with posing some possible health risks too! No one and no entity.

All things considered, to me, this proposed Audubon turbine doesn’t come within a million miles to the edge of common sense. So in closing, I ask those who are in in charge of administrating the Wellfleet Audubon along with proposing this wind turbine to “look deep inside nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

Those aren’t my words, those are the words of Albert Einstein.

The Wellfleet Zoning Board of Appeals’ public hearing for Mass Audubon’s application for a wind turbine at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, which had been scheduled in August, has been rescheduled to Sept. 19. The original application has been withdrawn and will be modified for that hearing, town officials told The Cape Codder this week.

Mike Rice lives in Wellfleet.

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