Impact on Landscape and Colorado
But a conference held in Denver earlier this month gave a sobering preview of major land decisions ahead for this nation. Experts at CLE International's convention on Historic Preservation and Tribal Consultation: Energy & Transmission Projects predicted that energy projects will be bigger and come faster than any of us foresee, with great impacts on ethnographic and rural historic districts.
What I remembered most was the quiet solitude, listening to the gentle breezes brush though the grass against my tent. When I arrived at the trailhead I was appalled to see windmills as far as the eye could see to the north and west.
Being sadly disappointed, I headed further east in search of more Chalk Bluffs that could afford some good photography. I drove all the way to Sterling and could not find one bit of the plateau without windmills.
Wind power has all the ingredients of a good brain-buster. The energy that windmills produce helps to preserve the environment, but the giant wind generators themselves have to be added to the environment. Wind power is making us redefine what we consider pollution. Windmills may not billow black smoke that requires scrubbing or leak hazardous radiation, but they make a lot of noise and can change a scenic horizon or ridgeline into a jumble of tinker-toy technology. Like dams in rivers, they interrupt the free flow of natural settings.