The Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife are filing an appeal with the US Forest Service today, citing several problems with the planned wind development near Readsboro.
“Clean, renewable energy is the right idea for Vermont, but approving the Deerfield wind proposal was the wrong decision. It is simply the wrong place for this kind of project,” said Leanne Klyza-Linck, assistant vice president for eastern conservation with The Wilderness Society.
“The Forest Service decision was based on incomplete or inaccurate information. The agency needs to take a closer look at the facts and address changes that have occurred since the Deerfield project was originally proposed in 2004. Since that time, Vermonters have experienced the devastation of tropical storm Irene, witnessed the decline of our bat population brought on by White Nose Syndrome and launched a natural resource assessment to inform energy siting decisions. Vermont has changed, and the Agency needs to take a closer look at the facts and recent changes in the state.”
The Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife filed the appeal to challenge several aspects of the Forest Service’s special use permit for the project, including incomplete analysis and road building in a roadless area.
In addition, the groups want the Forest Service to conduct a more thorough evaluation of wind energy resources in Vermont to identify appropriate areas for development. Such a forward-looking approach would avoid this kind of controversy, and is commonly used on western public lands through the Interior Department’s “smart from the start” approach.
“The people of Vermont deserve to be fully engaged in planning for wind energy projects on these public lands in our state. We need full information and a chance to take a proper, holistic look at where wind projects should and shouldn’t be placed in the state,” said Klyza-Linck.
The appeal will be filed on Friday, February 24, 2012.