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Don't industrialize Maine's mountains

This means that concerned citizens from all over the state who love our Maine mountains must make themselves aware of this outrageous proposal, as well as the larger question of uncontrolled wind power development and the damage it will cause.

The vision of placing massive industrial power production facilities on the tops of our majestic Maine mountains seems ludicrous and unbelievable.

Yet that is exactly what is just over the horizon unless Maine people are willing to oppose it passionately.

This looming industrialization takes the form of numerous 400-foot-high
wind turbines that developers propose to string along miles of our high ridges and mountain tops.

The first such installment has already been approved by the business-friendly state DEP officials for Mars Hill, an outlying mountain in Aroostook County.

The second installment - a massive one - is planned for the heart of our great Western Maine Mountains on 4,000-foot Redington and 3,500-foot Black Nubble mountains near Carrabassett Valley, Stratton and Rangeley.

Another installment, even larger, is in the planning stages for the Boundary Mountains north and east of Stratton and west of Jackman. And there will be more proposed.

The 30 huge turbine towers proposed at Redington will not generate much electricity, less than 2 percent of Maine's current generating capacity, yet they will intrude on our view and consciousness day and night far into the future.

The towers, with... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The vision of placing massive industrial power production facilities on the tops of our majestic Maine mountains seems ludicrous and unbelievable.

Yet that is exactly what is just over the horizon unless Maine people are willing to oppose it passionately.

This looming industrialization takes the form of numerous 400-foot-high
wind turbines that developers propose to string along miles of our high ridges and mountain tops.

The first such installment has already been approved by the business-friendly state DEP officials for Mars Hill, an outlying mountain in Aroostook County.

The second installment - a massive one - is planned for the heart of our great Western Maine Mountains on 4,000-foot Redington and 3,500-foot Black Nubble mountains near Carrabassett Valley, Stratton and Rangeley.

Another installment, even larger, is in the planning stages for the Boundary Mountains north and east of Stratton and west of Jackman. And there will be more proposed.

The 30 huge turbine towers proposed at Redington will not generate much electricity, less than 2 percent of Maine's current generating capacity, yet they will intrude on our view and consciousness day and night far into the future.

The towers, with their huge rotating blades and blinking night lights, are only a part of the problem. On Redington and Black Nubble, the proposed wind power facility will include 11.5 miles of new, heavily graded roads constructed on steep mountain slopes and along the high ridges.

It will require more than 10 miles of new 150-foot-wide rights of way for transmission lines.

It will require extensive blasting that will flatten mountain tops to anchor the huge turbine towers and to construct the extensive road system. That will mean clearing and destroying wide swaths of fragile boreal and upland forest lands for the towers, roads and transmission lines.

This will be large-scale industrial development in a place where it does not belong, development which cannot be justified by any significant benefit to our society.

It gets worse. Sad to say, some of the organizations that should be protecting the wildness and beauty of our mountains are abetting their industrialization.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine, the traditional guardian of our environment, supports the concept of having up to 20 percent of Maine electrical power generated by wind power in spite of the fact that this would require as many as a thousand of these huge turbines.

If placed in the mountains, they would sprawl nearly 200 miles along our Appalachian mountain peaks and ridges.

It seems strange and very inconsistent that NRCM, which vehemently opposes the Plum Creek development near Moosehead Lake, could promote the prospect of such devastating destruction of our mountains - especially when there are other, more appropriate sites available.

Already, some more sensible developers are considering placing large wind power plants in environmentally less sensitive agricultural settings in Aroostook and Washington counties.

The citizens of Harpswell and other coastal Maine communities recently had the backbone to say "no" when huge liquefied natural gas facilities were proposed for their beautiful towns, even when millions in revenue was dangled in front of them.

But some of the wind power proposals for the mountains will be in unorganized territories, where there are very few people to provide local opposition.

This means that concerned citizens from all over the state who love our Maine mountains must make themselves aware of this outrageous proposal, as well as the larger question of uncontrolled wind power development and the damage it will cause.

They must speak out passionately and pointedly to public officials and elected representatives. We don't have very many wild mountains left east of the Mississippi.

The ones we have left ought not to be industrialized.

Source: http://business.mainetoday....

JAN 30 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1115-don-t-industrialize-maine-s-mountains
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