Library filed under Impact on People from Kansas
Wind farm advocate and beneficiary Pete Ferrell had one message Thursday night for supporters of the Ellis County wind farm proposal: Make an effort to win hearts and minds now... • On noise: "I can hear the turbines from my home, and I didn't expect to (Ferrell's home is 1 mile from the nearest wind turbine). The odd thing is that I can hear it on days when it's not blowing that hard. When it's blowing hard, the wind covers the sound. It sounds like a river in the distance."... • On construction of the wind farm: "It was very hard. OK, it was a nightmare. Thank God it was professional done and it was over in six months."
Wendy Todd, a resident of Mars Hill, Maine, and her husband, Perrin, live about 2,600 feet away from one of the 28 turbines that compose the Mars Hill Wind Farm, Wendy Todd said. Todd's story is one opponents to the Ellis County wind project have referenced. When her family first heard about plans for construction of the project in 2006, they were not led to anticipate problems, she said. "We thought we had asked all the right questions. We thought ‘if we can deal with the visual aspect and get through the construction phase, we'll be all set,' " Todd said. "There was never any mention of strobing, shadow flicker was never even mentioned. The noise issues were put on the back burner almost immediately." However, she and her husband have been battling these issues, particularly the noise, which Todd said varies with the wind speed.
Doug Ewert also spoke with emotion. Ewert is owner of ETek Group Inc., and expressed concern at the concept of placing tall structures so close to residential homes. "I'm a company owner, I build communication towers," Ewert said in a voice thick with emotion. "I know what these things are about. I know that they're dangerous." Last winter's ice storm ripped down several communication towers in northwest Kansas, and left Ewert picking up debris from communication equipment scattered 2 miles away, he said. "In not one location that I've ever put a (400-foot-tall) tower would I put a tower next to a residential community," Ewert said. "It's amazing that this is even being evaluated for that area because of the community that's there. That community should be protected by Ellis County.
The twinkling red lights of the Spearville Wind Farm look like a Christmas display at night, but Kansas City Power & Light isnÕt waiting until Christmas to celebrate. The company has invited the entire community of Spearville to attend a picnic to celebrate the completion of the new Spearville Wind Energy Facility.
Nov. 30--LINDSBORG -- Three opponents of large-scale wind farms explained their reasons Tuesday night in Lindsborg to a group of about 50 people.
Rose Bacon, member of the Governor's Energy Task Force and a rancher who owns property in the Flint Hills, spoke about the vulnerability of communities facing proposals from international companies that want to build commercial wind farms in rural areas. She pointed to the lack of “teeth” in regulations, and the attractive tax write-offs granted to wind energy companies, and the inexperience of local officials in dealing with such monstrous deals, depicting a state-wide scenario akin to the “wildcatter days in the oil business.”
Manhattan (Kansas) benefits greatly from the scenic and intrinsic values of Flint Hills ranching landscapes and the from the stewardship of ranch landowners who struggle to preserve a way of life in the Flint Hills in Riley County and the two adjacent counties to the south and southeast.
Scientists compare the environmental importance of the tallgrass prairie to that of the rainforest. Its roots act as a carbon sink, cleansing the air of pollution. Its plants and limestone soils purify rainwater. Per acre, it provides more environmental benefits than any other ecosystem in North America.
There is less than 4% of native tallgrass prairie left in North America, and two-thirds of it is right here. Once you have experienced the spaciousness and exceptional beauty of open native grasslands, you know there is nothing in the world quite like it. These native grasslands are truly a national as well as a Kansas treasure.
Money will not purchase balm for our eyes or salve for the spirit: a place of beauty provides these. The Flint Hills provides.
He had been charmed by the spirit of our grassland, and kept coming back.
Although my research started with the visual and spatial aspects of WECSs, and continues to be focused on WECSs effects on “landscape character” i.e. impacts on the spatial environment, with implications for cultural values and social systems of our region. I am equally concerned about the predictable negative effects of WECSs on the natural systems of the Flint Hills. I am concerned about serious cumulative effects and the degradation of: the visual character of our environment; the social fabric of communities that are facing the prospect of WECS-C; the health of biological, ecological components of our regional ecosystem; and the long term viability of our local, increasingly “nature-based” economy.