Friday, April 23, 2010

Canada Lynx and Industrial Wind

It was almost two years ago that I saw my first Canada Lynx in the wild. You cannot imagine the thrill that gave this game warden’s daughter, who has spent her whole life enthralled with the wildlife of Maine.

If their permit application is approved, Trans-Canada plans to build a grid-scale industrial wind turbine development on Sisk Mountain, one of the Boundary Mountains along the Chain of Ponds, between Quebec and western Maine. The permit states that 17.5 miles of new roads and 17 miles of corridor will have to built and maintained in order for the 15 massive turbines to be brought onto the site, erected, and maintained. These aren’t simply country lanes or skidder trails, either. These roads will permanently fragment prime wildlife habitat.

That big cat had been hunting. She had a rabbit in her mouth and she was running for home. I imagined a litter of lynx kittens waiting in the den, scuffling with each other as they practiced their own hunting and social skills while waiting for their mother to return with their lunch. I was humbled and in awe.

This is the Maine I dream about, and the one in which I was raised. It’s the Maine I now share with my children; the one in which I hope they can rear my grandchildren. If LURC grants Trans-Canada’s permit to place industrial wind on Sisk Mountain, the low and ultra low frequency sound, the shadow flicker, the criss-crossing of hunting trails by 60-150 foot wide roads, and the intrusion of man and his foreign-manufactured machines will devastate the rich habitat that the Canada Lynx has reclaimed as its own.

She had a rabbit in her mouth, and she was taking it home to her babies.


Please add your voice of opposition to the industrialization of Sisk Mountain by attending the public Hearing on May 11th and 12th at Sugarloaf Mountain. For more information, please go to


  1. Just an old Woods Loafer, who has seen thingsApril 23, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Well said!

    In March of 2007 I wrote an article for the Upcountry Chatter newspaper [dealing with Maine wolf sightings] that ended with this paragraph:

    So, to recap: For those who want to see the Maine woods continue to be free from Federal interference, as well as free from animal rights extremists seeking to establish some sort of new age wilderness in our back yards, repeat after me; “THE WOLF DOES NOT EXIST IN MAINE”! Neither does the Mountain Lion, and the Lynx is just passing through! On the other hand, if you happen to spot some “unidentified” critter that resembles one of these three species, drop me a line, I’d love to hear about it!

    Now, three years later, with animal rights extremists still hounding us, and at the same time, Industrial Wind threatening to fragment our habitat and destroy what's left of our woods and mountains, I'm starting to rethink my position.

    Maybe it's about time that some of our "unknown" endangered species start getting a little good press?

    My personal files alone would send the USF&WS, MDIF&W, and the activists into a tizzy!

  2. Hello, Just, my friend.

    I told no one--save Mr. Grumbles--of that first lynx sighting. I was afraid if I did that gawkers and biologists would descend upon these mountains and valleys... and I didn't want that. If that lynx had settled here, then it was for a reason: she'd found habitat in which she could thrive and raise her family. I didn't want to be the reason those conditions and that safe feeling might be jeopardized.

    So it was with trepidation that I wrote these words. I want to save these wild and pristine places. There are so few of them left on this side of the Mississippi, and I have been favored... I have had heaven at my fingertips and on the other side of the door for forty-six years. I feel a duty to do my best to protect this corner of the world.

    I hope and pray my lynx family will forgive me for being a blabber-mouth neighbor. Choices. They aren't always easy, and they are rarely made without consequences.

    Thanks for weighing in, and please come back anytime.


  3. DC, Just Loafing AroundApril 23, 2010 at 10:22 PM

    "Choices. They aren't always easy, and they are rarely made without consequences."

    I know just how you feel. I have sat back and watched our State trapping regulations changed twice, in as many years, due to preasure from animal rights groups who claim to be concerned about lynx. Yet these same groups do nothing to prevent lynx/car collisions [fairly common] or to prevent developement [Plum Creeks Moosehead Project/Industrial Wind] from destroying lynx habitat.

    Meanwhile, I sit back with notebooks full of information concerning our [multiple species of large, carnivorous] endangered species. I've already been told that the State doesn't want to hear about it, and if I raise enough stink to get the Feds involved, I'm looking at being locked out of my own back yard, as it will be declared "Critical Habitat"!

    There must be some middle ground. Keeping the Maine woods open for all to use and enjoy, while protecting habitat from industrialization.

    But I guess conservation, like everything else these days, has become politically and financially motivated. When that happens, common sense goes out the window, and the animals, the mountains, and the local people who love them are the ones who suffer.

  4. Yep. There's the conundrum. What to do, how much to say, how far to take something. Keep quiet, or raise a hue and cry...

    I wish I had the answers. But I don't. I just stumble along, hoping that my 'helping' isn't actually hurting, instead.

    Hi DC. Still raining on your side of the divide? I saw a cardinal today... that brought a smile. I hope you found a reason to do the same.


  5. After about 23 hours, the rain is finally tapering off.

    Hard to smile these days, when I realize that come this time next year, a way of life and a very special place, may be gone forever.

    I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I put in a 12 hour day teaching hunter safety = Ethics/tracking/map and compass/woodcraft, etc. Maybe I can help instill a love of and respect for the land, into the next generation.

    Just hope there's some wild land left for them........................

  6. There will be. I have faith that there will be, as long as there are still some of us who have the courage to stand up and speak out. And as we speak, others might listen, and then learn, and add their voices to ours.

    It'll happen, as long as we don't lose courage or give up hope.

    Getting a good night's sleep once in a while won't hurt, either. You definitely should go to bed!

    Night, DC. Happy Saturday when it comes.

  7. Hey, Ali g! Yeah, you would like my kitties, wouldn't you? They sure are beautiful.


  8. just looked at your profile page. you've got 339 visits same as me. bit scary...

  9. Two Pease in a pod, that's us!

    Who woulda thunk we were that interesting? It's too bad we didn't know how long they stayed... or how quickly they lost interest...

  10. i am doing a progect on th elynx in french its pretty easy have you seen an actual lynx i havent but my cat looks like a lynx

  11. Hello Karen,

    I ask your permission to copy the picture with the kitty's in the snow ? It is a very beautiful photograph.
    I can make a credit for it and link to this blog.