MATC Clarifies Stance on Bingham Wind Project

Published Feb 25, 2014

There is always light at the end of the tunnel.  Like it or not.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Like it or not.

Communication ain't easy.

There are two aspects to information that we share:

  1. What we think we communicated.
  2. What we actually communicated.

There are also two aspects to receiving information:

  1. What we heard.
  2. What we think we heard.

A wide chasm separates what we think we said from what people think they heard. That, people, is why messages get so screwed up so quickly.

This is unfortunate; however, it provides a respectable career path for those who are paid to unscrew inscrutable communication.

On February 19, 2014, we reported news from the A.T. Coalition -- an alliance of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Mountain Club -- regarding the Bingham wind project in Maine.

Surprise! Not everyone understood what the Coalition was attempting to communicate; therefore, the Coalition submitted the following letter to the editors of several newspapers in Maine in order to clarify their message.

To the average reader and to the Coalition, this is an unnecessary aggravation. To me, it is job security.

I eagerly await the response from the editors, the reclarification and the subsequent rebuttal from the editors. All of which we shall post promptly and without (much) additional confusion.

The A.T. Coalition's Letter to the Editors

February 21, 2014

To the Editor:

We write to correct misinformation in a recent news report regarding the Bingham wind project, which incorrectly stated that Appalachian Trail organizations now support that project in return for future land conservation.

We do not typically lend institutional support to development projects that have the potential to impact resources of concern to our organizations, and it is inaccurate to say we "support" this project. We agreed to "not oppose" First Wind's Bingham project, and First Wind voluntarily agreed to help mitigate for their project's visual impact to the Appalachian Trail.

We acknowledge that visual impacts of the project are expected to affect the Appalachian Trail, but at a distance greater than eight miles. Maine state law, the Wind Act of 2008, does not allow consideration of visual impacts beyond eight miles in the state's permitting process. Our organizations have tried to bring this law up to date since turbines have dramatically increased in size, but the legislature has not been so inclined to date.

In recognition of our concerns for future protection of the Appalachian Trail, First Wind voluntarily agreed to provide a dedicated escrow fund of $700,000 to be used for Appalachian Trail land protection in Maine.

None of that funding is provided to our coalition organizations. First Wind also agreed not to erect additional towers closer to the trail than already proposed. Further the company will minimize nighttime light pollution from required aircraft warning lights by installing radar-activated lighting once the Federal Aviation Administration certifies its use by wind farms.

We believe this agreement provides the best achievable protection for Appalachian Trail resources.

The wind power policies of our organizations can be found on our respective websites at, www.outdoors.organd


Lester Kenway, Maine Appalachian Trail Club

Kenneth D. Kimball, Appalachian Mountain Club

Ron Tipton, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Click Here for Our Original Bingham Wind Farm Story

Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Appalachian Trail Community, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, and Maine Appalachian Trail Club

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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