I am responding to yet another, in my opinion, biased article by LeAnn Ralph (November 27, 2013) titled “Forest asks PSC to reconsider Highland Wind Farm permit.”
Ms. Ralph repeatedly trivializes the noise megawatt wind turbines produce. Who would find restful sleep listening to people talking, a refrigerator running, or a watch ticking against his or her ears? Ms. Ralph never mentions the low frequency/infrasound and stray voltage that industrial wind turbines also generate.
Articles continually account tax dollars spent in opposition of the Highland Wind Far. 75% of Forest homes are at risk of property devaluation, as is the public health and quality of life, including a good night’s sleep. I believe the reported $400,000 spent is well warranted and supported by the majority of Forest residents.
Ms. Ralph implies 75% of Forest residents support Highland Wind according to the 2009 Comprehensive Plan. With a 58% response rate out of 285 questionnaires, keep in mind the wind developer was actively securing contracts during 2008 and 2009. No public hearing took place to inform residents. The same questionnaire asked, should future commercial development be centered in the hamlet rather than dispersed around the town. 57% of respondents agreed. 55% disagreed that landowners should be allowed to develop land any way they want. Did Forest residents understand the size and scale of an industrial wind project? 77% agreed that view of the landscape is an important consideration when evaluating proposed development.
Finally, Ms. Ralph makes statements that Forest is opposed to the right to farm. The Right to Farm is a state mandated law (See Wisconsin Statute 823.08). According to the WISCONSIN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL LEGAL MEMORANDUM, “The purpose of the statute is to provide a measure of protection for farmers from lawsuit, or the threat of lawsuits, in which the normal consequences of an agricultural activity such as odors, noise, dust, flies or slow-moving vehicles are claimed to be a nuisance.”