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No culture clash in wind debate

This isn't a "clash of cultures" between "longtime ranch families" and "wealthy newcomers," and it's pure fantasy to say that anti-wind sentiment in the oil and gas industry motivates opposition to industrialization of the Northern Laramie Range. ...Industrialization of these mountains will destroy the business opportunities and property value of an unsullied Western mountain landscape, and the nonmonetary value of open space, silence and a black sky at night.

Sadly, the facts were absent from your editorial on the debate over wind power in the Northern Laramie Range ("Moratorium isn't answer for wind development," Jan. 21).

This isn't a "clash of cultures" between "longtime ranch families" and "wealthy newcomers," and it's pure fantasy to say that anti-wind sentiment in the oil and gas industry motivates opposition to industrialization of the Northern Laramie Range.

The Northern Laramie Range Alliance has over 750 members, 96 percent from Wyoming and 58 percent from Converse County alone. They include ranchers whose families have been in the mountains even longer than those planning industrial-scale wind, and others with wind development on the high plains part of their operations. They include townspeople using the mountains for hunting or recreation.

As in any group this large, Alliance members have views pro and con -- or no view at all -- about industrial wind power. But we're united in the conviction that Wyoming can host an active wind industry without disrupting its iconic Western mountain landscapes.

The Alliance has acted on this conviction: We publicly opposed the Converse Planning & Zoning... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Sadly, the facts were absent from your editorial on the debate over wind power in the Northern Laramie Range ("Moratorium isn't answer for wind development," Jan. 21).

This isn't a "clash of cultures" between "longtime ranch families" and "wealthy newcomers," and it's pure fantasy to say that anti-wind sentiment in the oil and gas industry motivates opposition to industrialization of the Northern Laramie Range.

The Northern Laramie Range Alliance has over 750 members, 96 percent from Wyoming and 58 percent from Converse County alone. They include ranchers whose families have been in the mountains even longer than those planning industrial-scale wind, and others with wind development on the high plains part of their operations. They include townspeople using the mountains for hunting or recreation.

As in any group this large, Alliance members have views pro and con -- or no view at all -- about industrial wind power. But we're united in the conviction that Wyoming can host an active wind industry without disrupting its iconic Western mountain landscapes.

The Alliance has acted on this conviction: We publicly opposed the Converse Planning & Zoning Commission's recommendation to extend to the whole county a proposal for a freeze on large-scale industrial development. We collaborated with Duke Energy on that.

The Alliance has worked with Rocky Mountain Power -- and has offered to work with REAL (the organization of landowners seeking wind development on their property) -- to identify sensible transmission routing that would enable high-plains wind generation while protecting the mountains. It's wrong to say there's no imminent threat of wind development in the Northern Laramies. Wasatch Wind has acquired development rights to 13,000-plus acres of private land, and applied for "special use" of another 7,000 acres of state land, in the Boxelder/Mormon Canyon area. They stated last week that active preparation is under way.

If the county doesn't act to preserve the status quo, Wasatch will proceed to the point that there will be no recourse for the community or for neighboring landholders: Industrialization of these mountains will destroy the business opportunities and property value of an unsullied Western mountain landscape, and the nonmonetary value of open space, silence and a black sky at night.

CLINT and SHARON RODEMAN, Casper,
RICHARD CROSS, Douglas,
DOUG KAFKA, Glenrock, and 12 other signers


Source: http://www.trib.com/news/op...

JAN 26 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24319-no-culture-clash-in-wind-debate
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