Here we are on the top of the Lowell Mountains. A tent village. Why? Because Green Mountain Power, Vermont Electric Co-op and a Canadian owned company want to take away our mountain. They want to put up 21 wind turbines on the top of The Lowell Mountains. Twenty one turbines, 459 feet high on 3 miles of ridgeline.
Can you imagine what that will do to the fragile environment on top of a 2400 foot ridgeline? Everything from water quality in the rivers below to the bats above will be affected. Can you imagine building a road the size of the interstate on top of a ridgeline? They call it green energy. We call it Green Backs for big companies!
And why are they doing this? $$$$$$$$$. It is going to cost 160 million dollars and 44 million of that comes from our tax dollars. Think of how much solar power could be generated 3 feet off the ground for 44 million of our tax dollars with little effect to the environment.
As we raise money for lawyers to fight the legal battles against the Agency Of Natural Resources and the so- called Public Service Board, we also sit and camp! Come join us in our Tent-In.
” It takes one thousand years to build an inch of topsoil” Wendell Berry
So, this is our plan. We are going to be camping and day hiking on private property that borders the proposed wind project. William Sorrel, the state’s Attorney General has made a public statement, saying that as long as we have permission from the land owners we are not breaking any laws. We are in hopes that the blasting company, Maine Drilling & Blasting won’t blast if we are too close! Are we too close? We don’t know yet.
This is not a hike for the faint of heart! It is an hour up at a steady and arduous pace. It is a steep, wet, muddy climb. The temperature can be 10 degrees colder than at the base. The wind will be stronger on top! Dress accordingly and be prepared to take care of yourself! Bring your own food, water and a hot drink.
We have a few rules that need to be followed to protect us and the land owners.
- Hike, Camp & Hunt at your own risk
- Sign in at base.
- Choose a name ( like bobcat, bear, lynx or maidenhair fern) and write it on your name tag, wear the tag in a visible location on your person. If anyone from Green Mountain Power approaches you hand them the message created for that purpose. You will be given the typed message when you check in.
- Stay on the property. Do not cross over into GMP parcel, which is marked with faded orange on trees. Our safe and legal property is marked with pink ribbons on trees along the property’s border.
- Do not talk to GMP workers. Be courteous and polite.
- Be respectful of nature. These woods are home to wildlife that are already being disrupted. The coyotes, moose, bear, partridge, bobcat and many other creatures who lives in these woods along with the wetlands, streams and beautiful moss gardens will benefit from being as undisturbed as possible as the army of tree cutters, excavators, blaster, bulldozers and trucks make their way up the two miles to the mountain on the other side.
- Be responsible for all items taken in and take them out when you leave. Please do not litter. You must pack your trash out.
- No children
- No alcohol for daytime guests. If you are spending the night please consult with the owners if you want to consume alcohol. Safety is the primary concern.
- Bodily fluids may be directed to the natural landscape. A trowel will be located in a place where it can be used to bury solids in an area that is out of the way. Please return it to where you found it.
- Please check in when you arrive and check out when you leave. We do not want anyone unintentionally left behind.
If you still want to be part of this TENT-IN please respond to the following email.
The Lowell Mountains Occupation – Why We Are Doing This:
RIDGES ARE NOT RENEWABLE
1. Vermont does not need to industrialize our mountains to reduce our carbon “footprint”.
a. Actually, it’s just the opposite, clear-cutting timber reduces the carbon uptake of the forest.
b. Less than 10% Vermont’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from electricity
generation – if we want to reduce our footprint, we need to heat our homes efficiently and
cut our use of gasoline in cars and trucks.
c. Large-scale wind projects have never been shown to directly reduce GHG emissions.
d. Efficiency and conservation are always far cheaper than generation – and we can do more
efficiency projects in Vermont. The Department of Public Service estimates 25% of new
energy needs in the next 10 years can come from currently available efficiency measures.
e. We can transition to generating electricity where and when we need it through smaller scale,
community-based, community owned projects, that meet our needs and do not have adverse
2. Industrializing our ridgelines destroys natural resources and harms people and wildlife.
a. The headwaters streams that are the sources of Vermont’s high quality water start on
ridgelines. Blasting and earthmoving on and into those ridges permanently changes the
quality, quantity, and path of those streams – forever.
b. Clearcutting, then building huge hard surface roads and concrete pads ruins high mountain
habitat for generations while putting more pressure on black bear, deer, moose bobcat, birds
and other wildlife. The alpine terrain that “hosts” turbines has never been logged, and is not
a “working landscape.”
c. Turbines create noise that has adverse human health impacts for people and animals.
3. Vermont’s permitting process is deeply flawed, favors developers, and ignores the people.
a. Regulators routinely ignored expert testimony presented by neighboring towns. The final
permit language in most cases deferred to GMP’s paid experts.
b. Neighboring towns and individuals were at times denied the chance to question expert
testimony from GMP or state agency staff. This violated the parties’ constitutional rights.
c. The permit process forces neighbors to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to participate
and become experts themselves. Developers have no obligation for towns’ costs to
represent local interests. Often, neighboring towns get little or no benefit from wind energy
4. A group of corporations and Vermont government have sold the people a bad project.
a. GMP and VEC customers will end up paying twice the market rate for the electricity
generated by the Lowell project.
b. This project reduces CO2 emissions for an estimated $100 per metric ton. Well designed
projects have the same impact for $25 per metric ton.
c. GMP staff has made it clear that without federal subsidies, this project would not be getting
built. Given that the project will have little impact on Vermont utilities’ carbon footprint,
one can only conclude that it is finances, not science, that is motivating GMP.
5. This project received a permit from the PSB that did not require GMP to:
a. Secure adequate safety zones for blasting and logging.
b. Show that they had clear title to the land they planned to use, some of which is involved in a
long-standing property line dispute.
c. Obtain the required land parcels to mitigate impact before construction started.
d. Establish the value of the mountain they are destroying and its free ecological services (clean