Farmer takes a stand against wind turbines.

Adrian Daily Telegram, Letters to the Editor: Sunday, February 20, 2011
ADRIAN, Mich. — Past blowin’ in the wind? “I feel I must publicly stand up against this monstrosity of a project and the damage it stands to wield upon our community.” Dan Witt

To the editor,

According to historian Robert Zinn, in Wisconsin in 1856 the LaCrosse and Milwaukee Railroad received a million acres free by distributing 900,000 in stocks and bonds to nine assemblymen, 13 senators, and the state governor.

Two years later the railroad went bankrupt, rendering all stocks and bonds worthless.

Fast forward 155 years to the present day, and to the so-called “opportunity” for our community to invest in the emerging wind-power industry. Ask yourself, “Is history about to repeat itself?”

With multiple 500-foot windmills and enough cement to hold each 50-story structure upright, these whirling iron giants stand to become a permanent fixture upon our horizon for generations to come. Once we have successfully built this community wind project, with its promise of fortune for all, we will then only need to hope it will never go broke, never be sold to the highest bidder, and its contracts will never be renegotiated for less money. There is one thing we won’t have to worry about, however. The easements upon our land. Those will remain forever. Of course, we will also have our broken roads and damaged drainage systems to deal with. But most of all we’ll have our frustrated neighbors living next door, who will be left with lower property values and a view from their windows to forever remind them of all that they’ve lost.

Those who believe community projects with industrial goals are achievable, only have to refer to our most recent stockholder undertaking — Great Lakes Ethanol. In its few years of existence, this community stockholder investment has merged once and been sold twice, losing all local control, which had originally been a strong selling point by those who pushed our community to accept this project in the first place. Now some of these same leaders are asking us once again to allow another industrial project to be constructed upon our non-industrial/agricultural land.

Farmers are often referred to as “stewards of the land,” care-takers of the ground they have been entrusted. As a fifth generation farmer myself, and out of respect for both my forefathers and my future grandchildren, I feel I must publicly stand up against this monstrosity of a project and the damage it stands to wield upon our community.

Dan Witt