Posts Tagged ‘highway landscape’

A word from Wyoming on windfarms

July 6, 2009

Former LHA president Randy Wagner always makes clear his opposition to windfarms and their impact on the view along Western roads like the Lincoln Highway, so as an Easterner, I asked him to explain. Below is his response.

windfarm

Windfarms are destroying the natural Western landscape and are bringing to an end the wide open spaces that those of us that live here have so long enjoyed. Wherever they grow, they dominate the viewshed like nothing else ever invented by man. While normal man-made visual intrusions, like power lines and oil wells, tend to fade from view in 3-5 miles, windmills boldly stand out for up to 30 miles, always on the skyline. An example would be the once beautiful Lincoln Highway drive from Fort Bridger to Evanston, a journey through a pristine landscape since 1913 that is now a windmill forest. Another example is closer to home: Cheyenne residents have forever enjoyed an unobstructed view of the Laramie Mountains and the Sherman Summit to the west. Now a windfarm blocks the view and the feeling of living in the wide open, unspoiled west is forever gone.

I could go on and on about the facts that wind energy is highly inefficient and can only be economically justified with heavy federal (taxpayer) subsidies; that windmills are very high maintenance items; that they don’t work on those hot, still, muggy days when energy is in high demand; that they are seriously altering the habitat for native wildlife species such as sage grouse and pronghorn antelope; that Wyoming is destroying its landscape to send power to Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Counter viewpoints are welcome.