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Letter: Opposed to Proposed Wind Farm

Monday, March 18, 2013

To the Editor:

The Alexandria Conservation Commission is concerned about the environmental impact of the Wild Meadows Wind Turbine development, the massive industrial wind developments being proposed in Grafton, Danbury and our town. The blasting, road-building and clear-cutting required by projects of this magnitude will threaten the water quality of Smith River, Alexandria Bog, Patten Brook and ultimately Newfound Lake.

Our experience dealing with the wetland violations associated with industrial development in remote areas such as the Maxam property on the Groton side of town leaves us doubtful that state agencies are adequately staffed to monitor the environmental degradation caused by these large projects. We are also concerned with the loss of wildlife habitat in the ridgeline areas where these developments are proposed.

As confirmed by the recently completed Natural Resource Inventory, Alexandria is home to a rich diversity of wildlife, including species of conservation concern. Industrial wind turbines stand 45 stories tall and pose a hazard to bats and birds, especially during migration. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends against siting these wind turbines on forested ridgelines. One of the reasons that our town hosts so many kinds of plants and animals is that we have many different habitat types, including large areas of unbroken forest. The road-building associated with this development will fragment the forests and cause some species to disappear from these areas.

We encourage the members of the Alexandria Selectboard to educate themselves and our citizens on the issues surrounding industrial wind development so that they can make wise choices regarding the use of our precious natural resources. This is an issue that could change our town forever.

After months of education and discussions among commission members about the wind development project, the Conservation Commission members unanimously voted not to support the project.

Janet Towse

Chair, Alexandria Conservation Commission

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