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Orleans prosecutor drops charges against Lowell wind protesters

The Orleans County state’s attorney decided last week to drop charges against six anti-wind demonstrators for allegedly trespassing on disputed land near the Lowell Mountain wind project.

The protesters in 2011 were arrested and charged with trespass when they blockaded the construction of Green Mountain Power’s 21-turbine wind farm in the Northeast Kingdom.

The protesters had permission from a neighboring property owner to camp near the site. The owners, Don and Shirley Nelson, disputed a property line with GMP before selling their land to the company for $1.3 million.

GMP said it will support the state’s attorney’s decision to drop the charges.

“We’re really happy that everybody is going to be able to move forward,” said Dorothy Schnure, a GMP spokesperson.

The attorney’s motion will not affect a jury decision in December convicting another six protesters of trespass. The Vermont Supreme Court later denied the protesters’ appeal.