The result of the presidential election left my mom groaning on the floor, and made my Dad feel like, “an old Vermonter holed up in liberal Vermont.” To an outsider, a Republican governor in Vermont might look like an identity crisis. For me, a born-and-bred Vermonter, my vote for a Republican governor was a vote against multinational wind power on Vermont public land.
During his campaign, Governor-elect Phil Scott said he was in favor of a complete ban of ridgeline wind development. For some, myself included, Scott’s opposition to multinational wind development in the Stiles Brook Forest made Democrats jump ship from their political party.
Stiles Brook Forest is a part of the Green Mountain National Forest and would have made Vermont the first state in the country to have commercial wind development on national forest land. Thankfully, the project was put to rest by a town vote on Nov. 8. However, the future of Vermont’s public land is not secure.
I agree with Mike Faher’s warning, “Vote doesn’t rule out wind turbines at Stiles Brook” Nov. 10, and caution Vermonters to remember U.S. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell authorized the largest wind development project in the state of Vermont, along the ridgeline of the Green Mountain National Forest. Tidwell regards commercial wind development as an opportunity for America’s national forests.
Vermont should challenge the U.S. Forest Service with a complete ban of ridgeline wind power. Scott may be a Republican governor in liberal Vermont, but he understands that the true identity of Vermont is in our Green Mountains. A ban of ridgeline wind power is the only way Vermonters can protect the fragile alpine ecosystems of the Green Mountains.
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