Friday, August 27, 2010

Spanish Wind on Maine's Mountains

Well, I knew this day was coming. Knew it was inevitable. Like a runaway freight train, industrial wind has been bearing down on the mountains of Maine. For the last ten months, I have been fighting for my neighbors, and for the People and the Mountains of Maine, in general.

But on Tuesday, Lexington Township received notification that Iberdrola, the Spanish company which owns Central Maine Power Company, has submitted a permit application to LURC (Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission) for permission to erect meteorological towers on Fletcher Mountain, in Concord (to my rear [or north, for those of you who don’t know which way my rear is usually pointed]) and on a ridge just behind Peaked Hill… which stands only a mile or so west from The F.A.R.M.

I’ve been accused of being a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) for months. I’ve worn that title with pride: for if I, and others like me, don’t defend our back yards, who will? Certainly not the state government now in power… it has paved the way for these intrusive, environmentally damaging and economically unfeasible monstrosities to be built with a minimum of scrutiny or oversight. I have, in fact, been proud to be a NIMBY, although I often prefer to think the acronym stands for “Not In MAINE’S Back Yard”.

Now, however, it IS going to be in MY back yard. On MY door step. In MY view shed. Within MY range of hearing. I thought this was “personal” BEFORE. I was wrong.

Now, this is “personal”.

I feel like raging. Feel like ranting to Whomever is in charge of the Cosmos—a small part of which includes Lexington Township and my family home. But ranting and raving and wailing don’t—and won’t--accomplish much, short of making me look like a half-dipped dipstick.

But the question is: What WILL accomplish the goals of those who have taken it upon themselves to try to avert disaster for the state of Maine?

I have never, ever witnessed a group of people work so long and so hard and with such dedication as the Wind Warriors of Maine have been working. Are we having an impact? Yes. Absolutely! We are educating more Mainers every single day about the realities of industrial wind. But are we winning? Oh, brother.

BIG Brother, to be more specific.

How do we fight something so huge and powerful, and something that has been sanctioned and shepherded into the state by our own government? Day by day, I’m learning how to fight it… but am I learning how to win? Is winning even possible??

You bet yer a$$ it is!

I absolutely refuse to believe that the people of Maine are powerless! I cannot accept that common sense has gone the way of the dodo bird. And I’m getting fed up with being lied to and of not being consulted when our money is being spent and our quality of life is being disregarded. Most especially when what it’s being traded for will not benefit the people of Maine-- or anyone, realistically.

If we were in a fair fight, we’d win. If we were slightly out-numbered and out-gunned, we’d be victorious. But we are up against an industry with money and power, and a government that’s doing its best to push mountaintop industrial wind all across this state. In order to change policy at the top level, we have to find very courageous legislators who will stand up and do the right thing. There are a few out there, but there are not enough. Not yet.

Unfortunately, it often comes down to one thing. Re-election. If the tide turns and enough Mainers cry ‘Foul!” our senators and representatives will have to listen. Otherwise, they’ll be out of a job. We need to write letters to them. We need to fill the newspapers with factual articles. We need to have an advertising campaign and the money to fund it. We need our experts to stay the course and continue to look at real data… and REPORT that data. And we need to do all of this… NOW!

November is coming. This is an election year. This is also the Year of the Wind. Everywhere one looks across this state, small towns and townships with no zoning ordinances (or worse, under LURC jurisdiction and in the ‘expedited wind energy zone’) are being targeted by wind developers who are hoping to build their grid scale energy plants and collect our tax dollars. Some of them are desperate… barely hanging onto solvency, if news articles are to be believed. So… they NEED those subsidies.

And WE need to be vigilant.

The truth is out there. The truth is reaching more people every day. But to save the mountains of Maine, we need to step up our efforts. We need more enthusiastic and committed individuals to help spread the facts. To ask for support from their legislators. To demand accounting from wind companies, and from any government agency involved in the siting and permitting of wind turbines.

It’s time to stop the foolishness and the waste, and the corruption.

I knew this day was coming, and now… it’s here. Who has time to blog? I’ve got work to do! I think I’ll start by having a word with my senator; Peter Mills of Cornville, Maine. If you’d like to do the same, he can be reached at I’m sure he’d be happy to hear from you…

Can I add a P.S. to my blog? Today I heard, from a third source in as many weeks, that members of the Maine Guides' Association have been instructed to support land-based industrial wind. They have been warned against opposing wind developments on the mountains of this state. Maine Guides have been told that if they oppose industrial wind, they will lose their rights to bait on public land. Now, this is hear-say. I don't know if it's true. I don't WANT to believe it, but I have a feeling that it is based in fact. So... maybe I've changed my mind. Maybe my FIRST contact will be with someone in the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Perhaps Commissioner Roland Martin. If anyone else is curious, I'm sure he'd be pleased to answer any questions you might have. He can be reached at :

Commissioner Roland Martin
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
41 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0041

And while you're at it, maybe you could ask him what studies are being conducted on bird deaths due to collisions with turbine blades, and bat deaths due to barotrauma. That'd be good to know..


  1. Very well writen, Karen. And as a full time, Registered Maine Master Guide, I can tell you, that even when things aren't spoken of openly, there is often an 'understanding.'

    But, if folks are really concerned about the threat of loosing hunting/baiting privelages on PUBLIC land in Maine, then the people to contact [and hold accountable] are the leadership at the Bureau of Public Lands [BPL] and the Department of Conservation [DOC]. They, Not DIF&W, administer most of Maines Public Lands...............

    When it comes to PRIVATE lands, well, you are SOL......... The big private land owners kind of have us by the balls. Unfortunately, for guys who have to make their living out there in the woods, this raises some reall conflicts. I just hope that more of them step up and speak out, and let the chips fall where they may.

    They have to be made to realize that keeping quiet about the devastation about to be caused by Big Wind may keep a Guide on the landowner's good side for now, but when enough of that land is destroyed [think 360 miles of Mountains....] it really won't matter any more weather or not the landowner gives you acess............. There will be no reason to want access!

  2. Thanks for the info, DC. I'll see if I can get those emails and/or addresses. I guess I was thinking more that the Dept. of IF&W was the one who had the authority to grant and revoke Guide Licenses... taking this one step further in my mind, I suppose. Premature of me, perhaps, but not if anecdotal reports are to be beileved.

    However! We are conducting a FACTUAL campaign, so I'll not jump the gun.

    Thanks again, DC... and keep doing what you're doing.


  3. Yup, DIF&W grant/revoke Guide Licenses, [don't for a minute think that this subject hasn't come up among Guides who oppose the State's stance on wind power....] but BPL/DOC decide the who/how/when of baiting on and acessing public lands.