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October 22, 2012

Road to Hubbardton

I attended a small gathering today at the Hubbardton Battlefield to protest a proposed wind turbine project for the Pittsford Ridge. If you’ve visited the battlefield, you’ll know that the vista remains largely unchanged from the day the battle took place over 235 years ago.

I am somewhat ambivalent about wind turbines. I recognize the need for them, but I don’t know why they have to be placed where they will dramatically destroy pristine vistas. The Pittsford Ridge project is the perfect example of developers being completely clueless about what it is they are destroying.

Anyway, the purpose of this post isn’t really to go on a rant about this, but to post some nice photographs from the day.

 

 

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Irene Fortin permalink
    October 22, 2012 7:55 pm

    I agree with you.

  2. Jim Wiegand permalink
    October 26, 2012 3:50 pm

    Bad News from the “Green Energy” Killing Fields…………
    In the Spring of 2006 there were 214 free flying whooping cranes. In the spring of 2012 only 192 were counted in their winter habitat before migrating north. It was also known that several others were living outside the survey area. Over this period of time, 228 whooping cranes have fledged from their nests and were added to the population. Yet the population has still declined. As of today, approximately 250 of the Aransas-Wood buffalo Whooping cranes have died since 2006 and almost all are unaccounted for.

    The average mortality for this period has been about 41 cranes per year or close to 20 percent. Most importantly has been NO NET GAIN in the population. For decades prior to 2006 their numbers had increased about 4 percent per year.

    Since 2006 thousands of wind turbines have been installed in the migration corridor they must use each year.

    Eagles are also in a seriously state of decline because of the wind industry. At the 580 MW Altamont Pass, studies have shown that wind turbines kill golden eagles at rate of 0.13 – 0.2 per MW per year Smallwood and Thelander 2004 Chapter 3 Table 3-11.). This equals 75-116 eagles being smashed out of the skies over Altamont each year. Wind turbine strikes were also shown to be the number one cause of eagle mortality.

    What the public does not understand is that Altamont Pass is not unique because at every wind farm located in eagle habitat, there are the same deadly combination of circumstances, wind currents, prey species, soaring eagles, and huge blades ripping through the air hundreds of feet up. Eagles forage over hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles. For this reason wind farms have a mortality footprint that far exceeds their boundaries.

    The industry is well aware of this and that is why a disastrous population decline for the golden eagle has not been disclosed and cumulative impact studies for this species have been avoided. Now solid evidence has been uncovered of a population decline in the 80-90% range covering 20-25% of the state. In recent years there have been several surveys conducted in over 3500 square miles of eagle habitat in Southern CA. Most of the habitat has been abandoned. In one area 12 nests were found but no eagles. In another 1500 square mile area, 34 nests were found and 33 were empty.

    There are two primary reasons for this decline 1) wind farm mortality, which has a far reaching deadly footprint and 2) The two-faced USFWS, which has in place meaningless “voluntary guidelines” for the wind industry.

  3. Jim Wiegand permalink
    October 26, 2012 3:53 pm

    The wind industry and their so called hired experts, routinely manipulate studies for a desired outcome. Here is perfect example. At the Criterion Wind Project in Maryland, Post-Construction mortality monitoring studies were conducted for this project.
    Description of Methodology taken from the study………… “The monitoring study period was from April 5 to November 15, 2011. Search plots were established around all 28 turbines in the project and the carcass search schedule was for daily searches at all turbines (weather and safety permitting). Search plot size varied in shape and size, due to habitat constraints, but in most cases areas up to approximately 40-50 m (~130-165 ft) from the turbines were cleared of vegetation for access and construction purposes and this area was used as the search plot. Parallel transects were spaced and delineated approximately 5 m (~16 ft) apart within the search plot and surveyors systematically walked the transects while scanning the ground for fatalities or injured birds or bats.”
    Looks impressive but it is nothing but a snow job. The cleared search plots were only the size of search plots originally used on the small turbines at Altamont which averaged 50 meters from the turbines. By comparison a 65kw turbine has a rotor sweep 38 times smaller and much slower blade tip speeds which result in greatly reduced body impact distances. The small turbines with 22 ft blades reach about 80 feet into the air. By comparison the Liberty 2.5 MW Wind Turbines installed at the Criterion project are 400 or more feet tall and have 150 ft blades that reach out further than the mortality search plots. A proper search area of 200 meters out from each turbine, checked daily with trained dogs, would have found many times more fatalities.
    Larger birds that do not die immediately can travel hundreds or thousands of meters. Others upon impact are hit and travel like a baseball far outside study areas. This is especially true for new generation of large wind turbines that reach 400-500 feet into the air. Based on the flawed methodology used, the true death rate is far greater and likely to be at least 3-4 times what was reported.
    Similar bogus studies like this one have been created all over the country to conceal bird and bat mortality. These studies were also used by the wind industry so they could proclaim to the world, that their new turbines were safer.

    • Vanessa permalink
      October 31, 2012 11:06 pm

      Jim—-What has me floored is the lack of ability to connect the dots with our agencies and institutions!! For example, there’s fact that our closely-neighboring region of Brandon/Whiting/Salisbury has been impacted by the EEE virus, a mosquito-born diease, It makes NO sense to be re-working legislation to permit legal takes of endangered species/already-stresssed bat populations. The bats are natural mosquito control!!
      Intervention begets intervention, and so problems are perpetuated and very likely new ones created that require further intervention. Balance gets farther and farther from reach.
      We need to practice measures of conservation and preservation if we are to respond proactively to climate change issues. We need to protect intact ecosystems instead of tearing these open and altering these and impacting the sensitive balance therein! We need to understand that fragile ecosystems serve the purpose of maintaining balance for ALL LIFE on the planet.

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