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Editorial: Boone County! Big wind=dead bats, dead eagles
By Frank Schier
Editor & Publisher
Please help fight against big wind in Boone County. The final Zoning Board of Appeals hearing is at 7 p.m., Nov. 26, at 1212 Logan Ave., Belvidere, Ill. This should be the last meeting before the Boone County Board vote on the issue. Go to www.boonecountyil.org/page/countyboard to get their contact information.
At the last hearing, it seems even members of The Sierra Club have become tools of Mainstream, the big wind developer, and are supporting smaller setbacks in the Boone County wind farm ordinance. That’s not surprising because they did not oppose the Winnebago County wind ordinance, either.
Any Sierra Club support or silence is outrageous, particularly considering recent studies on bat kills and eagle kills by industrial wind turbines sited in 117 rural areas.
Read the following UPI article on bat kills by big wind and urge Boone County Board members to vote setbacks of greater distance from neighbors’property lines and environmentally-sensitive areas: www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/11/08/Wind-turbines-blamed-in-death-of-estimated-600000-bats-in-2012/UPI-64421383946549/.
The setback should be 1,500 feet from the property lines. Greater setbacks equal fewer wind turbines and fewer chances of damage to the lives and health of animals and humans alike.
The issue of bat kills has been coming up for some time. Please consider the July 31, 2011, Chicago Sun-Times article, “Crop-killing bugs thrive as wind turbines decimate bats.”
Yes, big wind turbines kill eagles, too.
More bad news on big wind was released in a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife study. More on that in the following AP story: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/study-wind-farms-killed-67-eagles-5-years?fb_action_ids=4903504885021&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582.
In Winnebago and Boone County, our eagles are just coming back, specifically in northern Boone County. We have a very low population of eagles compared to the Mississippi River, and we need to protect them. Urge the Boone County Board to vote for 1,500-foot setbacks for wind turbines from property lines. This will reduce the number of turbines and reduce the chances of eagles being killed.
To fully understand the opposition to big wind, consider the information on the following websites:www.weopposewindfarms.org/ or www.windaction.orgor www.wind-watch.org/; and for our local perspective from Boone County, go to www.fairwindenergy.org. What a great site, very well done!
From the Nov. 13-19, 2013, issue