Impact on Landscape and Wisconsin
"Governor, I spent the first 35 years of my life in and around Fond du Lac County.
"Returning after several years away, I find vast swaths of rural Wisconsin being heedlessly vandalized by industrial wind turbines, monstrosities that produce no useful output except tax breaks and carbon offsets for fat cats in Chicago and New York.
The more we delve into the massive wind farm proposed by the Wind Capitol Group for Smelser Township, the more our concern grows.
Smelser Township is too thickly populated. The land is rich farmland and produces wonderful crops. It would be a shame to ruin it. It should be strictly agriculture.
It's sad when those who support wind energy have no engineering facts to back their opinion and often resort to name calling to discredit the Wisconsin Independent Citizens Opposing Wind Turbine Sites (WINDCOWS).
Far too often, the effects that farmers face are overlooked. Misled into contracts like rats to poison, they, along with their neighbors, are left at the mercy of the developer.
Do you live inside an industrial wind farm? I do. I live within the Forward-Invenergy project. It is a tremendous invasion of our life style and a horrible happening to our area. My wife, our 13-year-old son and I have experienced headaches, nausea, light headedness, lack of sleep because we hear them in all rooms of our house ...I trusted the elected officials of the town and county and the state's public service commission. That was a terrible mistake. If you allow large industrial limits closer than the set backs I mentioned above you will regret it. It will divide your community.
Three developers are talking about putting up wind turbines in the offshore waters to generate electricity. ...One plan calls for 390 turbines in an area about 18 miles east of Milwaukee, according to the newspaper report. Another would put 610 turbines one to two miles offshore from Kewaunee to Kenosha. ...We have concerns about the effect hundreds of Lake Michigan turbines would have on recreational boating, not to mention sport and commercial fishing, all of which are vital to the Sheboygan area's economy. There is also the danger that wind turbines rising hundreds of feet into the air pose to migratory birds.
Give some credit to Calumet County for deciding not to go with 400-foot turbines. Perhaps they have seen how the landscape has been permanently trashed at Johnsburg. Now if the politicians in Chilton could start working with the solar energy people they could set a good example for the rest of this area. They will have to initiate some kind of energy program before our governor and his wind crowd take revenge.
Here, near the Brownsville project, we have not heard a good word about the turbines that are operating. The complaints vary from resignation to outright fury.
In hopes of saving people from the same type of issues we've had with wind tower development here in northeast Wisconsin, I'd like to share some information with the good people of Bureau County. ...Please think about what you are doing before you sign those leases. Energy we can make from many sources; we can't make new soybean and corn ground.
"I do favor wind energy," says County Board Chairman Merlin Gentz, but the panel saw enough research suggesting that low-frequency vibrations and constant noise justify the setback. "No one," he says, "is saying they should be as close as 1,000 feet."
Except for the companies building them and environmentalists pushing them. Renew Wisconsin, a windmill lobby group, has been decrying Calumet County's qualms for months now. In one letter to county officials, the group argued against any kind of environmental impact study since that "presumes that wind energy is an inherently harmful technology." Neighbors say it could harm the daylights out of their resale value or their peace and quiet. Windmill backers pretty much tell them to get over it.
What will Calumet County look like in five years if the current wind energy regulations remain in place? That question can be answered by taking a drive a mere five miles into Fond du Lac County, to an area just east of Johnsburg. ...You will see how this peaceful setting will be disrupted forever. You will see how the countryside has been scarred. You may also notice "for sale" signs on homes in the area.
Reading about setbacks and looking at pictures of wind turbines does not give justice to their sheer size. A first-hand visit in a populated environment similar to Calumet County (as opposed to a "traditional" wind farm in a sparsely populated area) can be an eye-opener.
What effects will the wind turbines have on the hills and bluffs that provide “landscape beauty” to Monroe County? The hills and bluffs will have lost the quintessential ingredient of "landscape beauty" which I call "character.”