Here is a look at our farm on Tug Hill from outer space. Big Brother is keeping a close eye on us. Comforting, no? As you can see, the windmills stand out clearly. We are looking into using these maps for deer hunting. The deer don’t show up (that would be helpful), but it gives a good look at the terrain. http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=t&ll=43.786246,-75.609455&spn=0.018248,0.036349&z=15
MAPLE RIDGE WIND FARM
(or Flat Rock Wind Farm, or even Tug Hill Windmill Farm, if you will.)
The Windmills of Lewis County:
Took a ride up to the Tug yesterday to the Eagle Factory Road for the official dedication of the great Maple Ridge Wind Farm, finally nearing completion. It was a beautiful sunny fall day, but a bit breezy. Those windmill folks did it up right, as they do everything, with a great program, excellent lunch, thanks to all who were involved for a job well done, and souvenirs for everyone.
It really was an amazing project to see built, and once all the red tape was out of the way, those huge windmills were popping up overnite, it seemed. Awesome. One of the largest such projects in the world, so they say, and just a sign of things to come.
I was somewhat surprised that some of our politicians were not there to take credit, being an election year and all. Well, not so surprising, I guess. George W. and his crowd are seriously tied up in fossil fuels. Hilly and George P. are busy with more lofty goals somewhere in the Midwest. And I am sure Spitzer and Faso have not located Tug Hill on their GPS maps yet.
The folks who did speak were heavily into pointing out the long-term benefits of clean, renewable energy, and the long-term cash benefits of the windmills to an area that pretty much had nothing before. True, I guess. And one can put up with a few inconveniences, like the tourists, for the extra income, improved roads, and such. We got a chuckle out of one speaker going on about how the local dairy farmers would now find it easier to keep the family farms going with the extra income. Many of the Tug Hill farmers we know who are still in operation have been selling their herds as soon as the wind checks actually started coming in, and have gone on to other projects, or retired to watch the blades turn. But I guess the government’s agenda for years has been to put the small dairy farmer out of business, even to buying out their herds, so I guess it all works out.
One thing that does puzzle me is that now the project is completed, they are paving many of the roads in the area. That in itself is worth the hassle, as it seems those roads are paved maybe once every 40-50 years. But, we are only paving those roads that were paved before this all began, none of the gravel roads. Now it seems that if the windmill maintenance folks are going to be driving those roads, every day for the next 25 years, they would want to travel on paved roads. It would be nice for the residents too. Maybe when the towns start getting all that extra annual income, they will see to that.
Anyway, it appears to be a win-win project for everyone involved, and we are glad to see it finally completed. Great job, Maple Ridge, Flat Rock, Horizon, and all you other folks.
The Tug Hill Windmills:
You were right. I was wrong. What was I thinking? Those windmills are huge, they are noisy, they are ugly, and they need to be removed. All of them. Now. We want everything back the way it was, and for all the tourists to go away, and for the towns and counties and state to give back all the money. How do we do that?
Not serious, of course. I do not live close to the windmills, but many people I know who have them on their land are very happy with them. Especially the extra income when the tax bills come! From my own observations, the windmill noise is not much more than the sound of wind in the trees, and is really kind of soothing. Strobe lights? Flicker? After the first few minutes, you don’t notice them-like cell towers and power lines and all the other modern inconveniences. Welcome to the future.
We keep hearing more and more noise about the windmills on Tug Hill and how they are driving the deer and turkeys away and destroying the geese and other flying birds. In my opinion, it is all a lot of wind, and I don’t mean from the windfarm. My own very unscientific observations show that the deer and turkeys are totally unaffected, except that the grass planted under those towers is very tasty.
As I see it, they treat the windmill the same as a tree or any other object in their neighborhood. Same with the geese. They graze around the windmills, but they are no more likely to fly into one than into a tree or a power pole. They may be silly geese, but not stupid. I have photos of deer grazing under the towers, but I also have photos of the towers with no deer grazing ‘neath them. The latter might be proof that the deer have all been driven out. But no, we are seeing more deer , turkeys, and geese around than most years. Draw your own conclusions.
I say that the windfarms do not really have a large impact on the environment, wildlife, or the energy supply, and the antis need to find someone else to attack. The choices are numerous: Big Oil, The Government, The War(s), Big Business, Taxes, The National Debt (wait til your grandkids see that bill). I think if the windmills had any large impact, the Oil Barons, that monster known as ExxonMobilBPValeroShell, would have toppled them long ago. (And what is up with the Alaska oil fields? They are run by British Petroleum and the oil is shipped to Japan?)
The deer and turkeys? Well, they are undecided, but they are certainly not leaving the neighborhood.