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In the Wind  

Credit:  North Coast Journal | June 13, 2019 | www.northcoastjournal.com ~~

To all of you who enjoy Humboldt Bay and especially to all of my wonderful neighbors in Fields Landing, this wind project proposal envisions turbine components being barged through Humboldt Bay to Fields Landing where they will be transferred to large trucks.

Is this a joke? Are we to sacrifice the beauty of our bay for some theoretical improvement to our energy situation? Has anyone noticed that the roads in Fields Landing get repaired pothole after pothole from the very limited amount of traffic we have here?

Does anyone recall that Fields Landing was just recently designated to be in a tsunami zone?

Thank you to the NCJ for this article. Please continue to keep us informed. We can’t let this happen.

Carol H. Michael, Fields Landing

Your article “The Cost of Wind” did not examine the real costs since it was dictated by Terra-Gen hirelings almost totally. DeLapp spoon-fed the info as per her job as a project consultant and not a word was said about the carbon costs of the project, which far exceed the electricity ultimately produced.

The construction will use 15,000 gallons of water per day, more than 11,000 yards of concrete from plants fueled by generators and 3 million cubic feet of soil displaced that hold more carbon than trees. The turbines use 24,000 gallons of oil per year. There will be 900 acres of clear cut logging that will erode into Eel River tributaries and Jordan Creek watershed. The turbines will be sunk into 10-foot-deep cement and will never be able to be removed. The life of this project is limited and California is strewn with dead wind farms. DeLapp seems to have forgotten to mention the real costs and the author seems to have failed to ask.

There was no mention of the Wiyot Tribe and the Rancherias asking that the land not be disturbed since it is a place of prayer and the only spot left where they can see the whole of their ancestral lands. Since many of us are living on Wiyot land, why is there not even mention of their request?

Your article was shamefully inadequate and I hope that you’ll remedy that with new, thorough coverage. This is a critically important issue and people need to be informed. This will be in the laps of the Planning Commission in July and it matters that people are there to speak out. Our supervisors need to wake up and take action on catastrophic climate change. We need to think solar, starting with government buildings. Ultimately, solar saves money and creates jobs.

Sylvia De Rooy, Indianola

In response to the “Cost of Wind,” on the quality of the biodiversity and landscape on Bear River and Monument ridges, from last week’s Journal, “DeLappp points out that the land had been used by Pacific Lumber Co. and by cattle ranchers and is consequently far from pristine.” This shows a complete lack of understanding regarding the biodiversity within this project area, which includes one of the last large, intact, and native coastal prairie complexes in northwestern California, comparable to Bald Hills in Redwood National Park, which hosts a diverse habitat mosaic of acres of rare and sensitive plant communities (more than 400 acres of sensitive plant communities to be impacted), including California oatgrass prairie (Danthonia californica), blue wildrye meadows (Elymus glaucus), Siskiyou checkerbloom patches (Sidalcea malviflora ssp. patula), coastal bramble and newly described native plant communities, like redwood manzanita (Arctostaphylos columbiana) stands, which could have direct links to historic indigenous land management.

Tribal peoples used fire to maintain prairies like those on Bear River Ridge, which then became excellent habitat for megafauna grazers. These areas were the first to be grabbed up by early settlers due to the abundance of grasslands already made available by local tribes and our modern cows mimicked our native elk, especially if grazed wisely and moderately. Just because a landscape has been ranched doesn’t mean it isn’t pristine. That’s hogwash. Some of our nicest lands, with the most herbaceous diversity, are areas that have had regular moderate rotational grazing, which can help maintain native grasses, like Danthonia and Deschampsia.

This project landscape contains one of our more pristine coastal prairies left in all of northwestern California and the botanical report, found within the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the project, speaks for itself. Comments are due this Friday!

Adam Canter, Fortuna

I’m writing in response to an article in the May 30 edition entitled, “The Cost of Wind.” The article goes into a detailed account of Terra-Gen’s presentation but omits information readily apparent to anyone who has studied the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).

Proponents of the wind project tout the reduction of carbon dioxide, diversification of the state’s “energy portfolio,” and a decrease in the dependence on foreign energy supplies. Reading about the industry online exposes these marketing strategies of the wind energy industry as nothing but a lot of hot air (pardon the pun).

This proposed mega-project, which includes wind turbines as tall as Seattle’s Space Needle, requires the clear cutting of 895 acres of trees. A Google search tells me that 895 acres of trees provide enough oxygen for nearly 9,000 people to breathe annually. While we have long known that forest ecosystems serve as important carbon sinks, a recent study by University of California at Davis found that grasslands may be equally important carbon sinks for the 21st century.

A related primary concern is potential future impacts to the California condor re-introduction by the Yurok Tribe. The general consensus is that Bear River Ridge and the Lost Coast will be critical habitat for the giant birds. The condor is just one of the protected or listed species native to the North Coast that will suffer irreversible decline because of the windmills. (Terra-Gen calls these “unmitigatable impacts.”)

Savvy birdwatchers know that it is unlawful pursuant to California Endangered Species Act code section 2081 to “take” state-listed species without a take permit. It is furthermore unlawful to “take” fully protected species pursuant to code section 3511, and no take permit for such species shall be issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Terra-Gen evidently thinks they are above state law!

Rick Pelren, Fortuna

[excerpted]

Source:  North Coast Journal | June 13, 2019 | www.northcoastjournal.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments to query/wind-watch.org.

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