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December 11, 2012

Opposition Mounts to Second Application for
Bowers Wind Project in Downeast Lakes Region of Maine
Maine’s DEP to Hold First Ever Wind Project Public Hearing


April 20, 2012

Project’s Unreasonable Scenic Impact on Pristine Downeast Lakes Region Cited



October 19, 2011

State Regulators take step towards rejecting Bowers Wind Project


The Land Use Regulation Commission held a meeting today at the Waterfront Event Center in Lincoln. The sole item on the agenda was a final deliberation session for the Bowers Mountain Wind project. While the proposed project site is in the Expedited Permitting Area defined by the Wind Law, it would affect the scenic value of many of the lakes that make up the Downeast Lakes Watershed. Following a brief discussion the Commissioners voted unanimously to have the LURC staff draw up a denial document for their final vote on December 7th.

The 200+ members of the Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed are extremely gratified that the LURC Commissioners have determined that First Wind and their attorney, Juliet Browne of Verill Dana, failed to prove that the Bowers Wind project would not have an unreasonably adverse scenic impact on this large and historic watershed.

The property owners and recreational users of these lakes, along with the Lodges, Sporting Camps, and Guides who depend on the area's recreational tourism for their livelihood, will not rest until this development application meets its final defeat on Dec.7th. By denying this permit LURC will send a strong message to wind developers that while former Governor Baldacci's flawed Wind Law provides them with an expedited permitting process, it does not guarantee approval. There are sites within the expedited wind permitting area that are simply not appropriate for industrial wind development and the Downeast Lakes region is one of them. As a state, we should be looking for ways to enhance our tourism business while preserving the State's natural beauty and 'Quality of Place' for residents and visitors alike.

Kevin Gurall
President, PPDLW

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Group Opposes First Wind’s Industrial Wind Power Project
in Carroll Plantation

Lakeville, Maine, April 15, 2010 –Residents and landowners in Carroll Plantation, Lakeville, Springfield and Grand Lake Stream have formed the non-profit "Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed" (PPDLW) to oppose the construction of an industrial wind project on Bowers Mountain in Carroll Plt. PPDLW asserts that the project will threaten the environment and the quality of place that drives the local economy.

Champlain Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of First Wind of Massachusetts, has leased 5,445 acres encompassing Bowers Mountain. The company is conducting meteorological testing and surveying in the area and is expected to apply for a permit soon to place 27 turbines, 428' tall on 1,127-foot Bowers Mountain and unnamed hill to the south of Bowers Mtn and Dill Hill in Kossuth. The turbines will be visible from many of the region’s most important recreational lakes, including Pleasant Lake, Junior Lake, Scraggly Lake and West Grand Lake. Within 8 miles of the turbines there are ten lakes which the Maine Wind Law has designated as "scenic resources of State significance". Fifteen of the turbines will have red strobe beacons on them, as required by the FAA. At night they will flash in unison but their appearance will be interrupted by the passing blades. As each blade passes the vertical position it will be illuminated by the strobe. The strobes will be visible from as far as 25 miles away. From the water they will be reflected and will appear like red lasers beaming toward the viewer. Experience with the Rollins Wind project in Lincoln has shown that loons are very disturbed by this phenomenon. Residents and visitors who are accustomed to viewing the night sky without distraction will now find that their vsual attention is drawn to the red strobe lights.

The Downeast Lakes Watershed spans two counties and includes more than 13 bodies of water from Duck Lake to West Grand Lake. While much of the area is preserved by conservation easements, the project site itself is not afforded such protection. Since Carroll Plt. is on the edge of the expedited permitting area designated by the Governor’s Wind Task force, PPDLW is alerting property owners and visitors to the region whose interests and property values are threatened.

“This entire watershed, and Grand Lake Stream in particular, attracts visitors from all over the world,” says PPDLW’s President, Kevin Gurall. “They come for the wilderness experience; the quiet of the woods, the pristine lakes, the abundant wildlife, and the star filled night vistas. Jobs at local retail businesses, sporting camps, fishing and hunting guides, hotels, B&B’s, and restaurants all depend on visitors who come here to experience our region’s beauty. This industrial wind power project threatens all of that. PPDLW is fighting to preserve the quality of place that drives our local economy.”

“The Downeast Lakes region has a natural resource-based economy,” Gurall adds. “It depends on tourism, so we knew we could count on local property and business owners for support. But we’ve been very pleasantly surprised to receive donations from visitors from around the country who appreciate what a unique resource we have here. Word’s getting out about how destructive these industrial wind projects can be, environmentally and economically.”

Environmental impacts of the project include soil erosion caused by road and turbine construction, and herbicides used at the project site. Both will threaten four brooks that support populations of wild brook trout. In addition, wind turbines kill bats and migratory birds, such as warblers, hawks and eagles. Based on the topography, noise and light flicker from the project will likely affect landowners in Lakeville as well as the nearest abutters in Carroll Plt.

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About PPDLW: The Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to the long-term preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed through conservation, environmental action and opposition to inappropriate industrial or commercial development.

Media Contact:
Gary Campbell, President