To quote your recent article, “Winds of Change,” it states: “Johnna Guinty, vice president of marketing for Tradewind Energy, Inc., the Kansas-based developer of the Diamond Vista wind farm, said his company worked closely with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and managers of Maxwell Wildlife Refuge.”
I have been the manager of Maxwell Wildlife Refuge since July 1984 and I have never been contacted by Johnna Guinty (never even heard the name before), Tradewind Energy, Enel Green Power or NextEra Energy, in order to provide me any information concerning their plans for wind farm development in the area, or asked for any input about how it would impact the refuge. I had to find out about their proposed projects through the local rumor mill, followed by networking with other concerned citizens who did considerable digging through public websites to find wind farm maps provided by the energy companies and special use permits approved and issued by local county government, only to see those documents disappear from the county site after opposition to the locating of the wind farms started to be raised.
It seems that the power companies and the local government officials are trying to move these projects forward with as little public input as possible, which is really sad in a nation that likes to pride itself on a supposed transparency of government. Due to such methods, up until about January or February, probably nine out of 10 people in McPherson County had no idea that such plans were about to be implemented in the area.
Citizens across Kansas voted the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge as one of the Top 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography. A three-mile setback is incredibly inadequate for protecting the natural beauty of areas such as Cheyenne Bottoms, Little Jerusalem, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge or Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, and many other special places that could be encroached upon and surrounded by wind farms. What will we do when we no longer have any natural areas? It will be too late to go back and we will have lost something very special.
CLIFF PETERSON, Canton