Library from Kansas
Manhattan and Riley County certainly have legitimate governmental interests in the development of the corridor, the promotion of tourism and protection of the tallgrass prairie.
Consider this: We could be looking at 1,000 or more wind turbines taller than the Statue of Liberty on the high ridges of the Flint Hills, and they would contribute only about one-tenth of 1 percent of our current electricity use. That simply isn't worth the destruction of our unique Tallgrass Prairie land resource.
A review of the issues related to wind farm development.
Wind energy development will not impact the land. Don't be misled. Utility-scale wind energy is industrial development, plain and simple. Remember, these 21st-century wind machines aren't like grandpa's windmill. Fact is, the turbines being proposed in the Flint Hills stand taller than the Statue of Liberty (350 feet and taller)! Industrial-strength wind projects will entail miles of roads and trenched powerlines, and quarrying down 30 feet to make room for about 50 truck loads of concrete to anchor each turbine...and more....
The benefits of wind farms are dubious and undemonstrated. Going headlong into the business of wind farming, either for the revenue or the energy, is less than responsible.
What's the matter with Kansas? For one thing, The Wichita Eagle.
Resolving Our Cultural Identity Crisis: Agriculture vs. Environment "...this concept of preserving land in private hands has become a great theme of our region. Our Flint Hills culture has rested on this principle: that we want our land to remain agriculturally productive in private hands, namely producing high quality beef cattle, at the same time we preserve the Flint Hills much as they were hundreds of years ago."
Promoters of the wind energy craze, absentee landowners and a few locals hoping for a windfall are about to destroy the soul of the Flint Hills.
The study pointed out that when a community focuses on tourism as a strategy for economic vitality, it is important that they coordinate tourism and other economic development activities. Weak or non-existent planning and zoning, polluting industries, etc. can lower the visitors’ impression and the likelihood of repeat visits. Furthermore, that essential word of mouth advertising, so wonderful when everything works well, can work against a community that fails to keep up its appearance and its offerings (YNG study).
...you need to quickly learn the new math of wind power and not have to live many years with unfair contractors speculators are able to get uniformed landowners to sign at the dawn of a new industry in Kansas.
The Sacred Hills, by Don Coldsmith, a Bantam Books paperback, copyright 1998. Courtesy Protect The Flint Hills website. For whatever reason, perhaps because we feel closer to the divine or perhaps from a hill we can see farther and with greater clarity, human beings of all cultures seem spiritually drawn to high places. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help,” sang the psalmist: for Looks Far that statement was literally true. It was from a hilltop that the bison stampede both destroyed his enemies and provided winter food for his tribe. More important, it was the Sacred Hills that brought together, for the first time, two warring tribes; love for land proved stronger than human animosities. The Flint Hills were indeed a holy place for the People.