It was extremely disappointing to read the Feb. 10 commentary by Dan Crawford, chair of the Sierra Club Roanoke Group titled “Rocky Forge site is close to perfect.” Similar to a commentary by Christopher West in the January 21 paper, Mr. Crawford appears to have drunk the Kool-Aid being served by Apex Clean Energy, the company responsible for the proposed Rocky Forge Wind project.
When Mr. Crawford writes that “The Rocky Forge site is as close to perfect as we can expect,” he either has not read, or is choosing to ignore, the “Wind Siting Advisory” of the national Sierra Club (https://www.sierraclub.org/policy/energy/wind-siting-advisory). In part, that advisory states:
“The Sierra Club opposes development in protected areas such as national and state parks, national monuments, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, designated roadless areas, critical habitat and designated habitat recovery areas for wildlife, and areas of cultural significance, sacred lands, and other areas that have special scenic, natural or environmental value. In these areas, it is inappropriate to build wind turbines, roads, transmission lines, or any other structure related to wind development.”
Does Mr. Crawford know, or is he choosing to ignore, that North Mountain, the site for Rocky Forge is located in the Buffalo Creek – Purgatory Mountain Wildlife Corridor? Does Mr. Crawford know, or is he choosing to ignore, that the Botetourt Comprehensive Plan states:
“Preserving scenic views and vistas is particularly important for Botetourt County. The County’s scenery is critical to the rural character and is one of its most distinguishing features.”
Does Mr. Crawford know, or is he choosing to ignore, that the proposed turbines will be visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway? Does Mr. Crawford know, or is he choosing to ignore, that the Upper James River (which flows at the base of North Mountain) is a designated Virginia Scenic River?
The list goes on of information that Mr. Crawford is either ignorant of, or is choosing to ignore, on why the Rocky Forge site is as close to the worst site as possible for such an industrial development project.
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