I have perused two binders prepared by Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, LLC, a subsidiary of U.S. Wind Force which, along with several state and local officials, wanted to place 100 industrial wind turbines in our state forests and parks.

After nearly 500 people showed up to protest, Gov. O’Malley changed his mind. Now U.S. Wind Force has renewed its interest in the path of least resistance, the Allegany County commissioners.

While reviewing the proposal by Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, I became interested in a map showing the view shed that included almost every community in the county. I would not be surprised if most of the county and the West Virginia side of the Potomac will be able to see a five-to-eight mile array of 29 500-foot high industrial wind turbines along the ridgetops. Each would be nearly the size of the Washington Monument.

This would become the major ecological, cultural, and historic feature of our region’s landscape and define our once-beautiful mountain ridges forever. Sadly, this proposal has received little public attention. If we do nothing, the likely result will be construction of hundreds of industrial wind turbines on virtually every mountain ridge in Allegany County.

Our county commissioners and their appointed planning and zoning commission have disregarded the serious environmental, safety, and health concerns of the citizens of Allegany County. They have not educated the public as to the project’s costs and benefits, even though they have been aware of it since deregulating the zoning ordinance on industrial wind turbines in 2002.

Serious common-sense concerns articulated by citizens have been ignored. The hostile and arrogant officials ignore them at our peril, and the peril of our children and grandchildren.

The question is why the ordinance was changed, and who was responsible for initiating it.

Allegany County residents have no state or local environmental, safety, or health protections in relation to Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, and your state and local elected representatives refuse to do anything about it.

Equally important, the culture of secrecy and obfuscation maintained by the commissioners and their senior staff impedes the public’s right to information by refusing to reveal critical information. As Jefferson so said, “It seems that the only threat to liberty is government itself.”

We are at the point in Allegany County where citizens have to access their government through freedom of information requests, administrative rulings, and lawsuits. Our democratic values seem to be slipping away as our county commissioners become more dismissive toward those they serve.

Allegany County officials were not even aware of the boundaries of the proposed project, and in all likelihood state and federal environmental laws and regulations would have precluded such construction on the Wildlife Management Area lands adjacent to the Dan’s Mountain project. The commissioners and their planning commission steadfastly refuse to make an informed judgment on a proposal that will impact our cultural heritage forever.

How can Allegany County’s tourism promotion materials talk about our scenic mountains and spectacular countryside when industrial wind turbines on ridgelines are planned to dominate our landscape?

If you wake up looking at the beautiful mountain top ridges throughout Allegany County and the North Branch of the Potomac River, your view will be forever destroyed if this project goes forward.

The Maryland Pubic Service Commission has scheduled a hearing on this matter at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in Dunkle Hall, Room 218, at Frostburg State University. I suggest you attend and make your views known before the “Mountain Maryland” we love is tragically altered forever.

John N. Bambacus


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