I feel compelled to write this letter about my concerns with the NextEra Energy wind farm proposed in Stark County. At the onset of this project, I didn’t have an opinion. I was under the impression the turbines would all be to the east of my property and if the locals wanted them, so be it. It turns out I was wrong. My property will be surrounded by eight proposed turbines within one mile from my property line. Certainly a representative of NextEra would have contacted me about this, right? Wrong.
After learning about the eight turbines, my wife and I decided to visit a wind farm with an open mind about them. I would like to suggest to everyone concerned, including Stark County commissioners and zoning board members, to take the drive that we did.
We went north on Highway 49 to the Mercer County line. From that point, go east 6½ miles, you will hit a dead end under a wind tower. You can’t get lost. There are no other roads besides wind tower roads. May I suggest you get out of the vehicle, stand, look around, feel the pull on your skin and take in the constant sounds. When you look around, notice that you can’t see an occupied farmstead in any direction.
As I was standing there, I thought to myself that this may be an acceptable place for a wind farm. As you drive back to the west, please stop in several places, listen to the sounds and watch the shadows. When you get to the only two farmsteads on the road, stop on the road when you are lined up with the turbine standing behind the beautiful red hip-roof barn. I thought the turbine looked to be a few hundred feet north of the barn. After visiting with the property owner, I was informed it is 2,600 feet away. These things are so overwhelming, what seems close is in fact quite far off.
The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department promotes the Old Red Trail or so called “Old Red 10” as a must-see for visitors to the state. It is called a Scenic Byway with the natural beauty of the buttes, river valleys and prairies. Let us not turn it into a scenic tragedy.
Edward J. Krank, Gladstone