New Study Highlights Challenges Facing the Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The impacts of wind-energy developments are not limited solely to aesthetic considerations such as undeveloped scenic vistas. These developments often include high-grade access roads in fragile, high-elevation terrain, outbuildings, and transmission lines. They adversely affect soils (e.g., increase erosion or compaction), vegetation (e.g., facilitate the spread of invasive non-native plants), and wildlife (e.g., harm migratory birds and bats that collide with blades). A.T. managers opposed Maine Mountain Power’s proposal to build 30 400-foot wind turbines adjacent to the A.T. corridor on the ridges of Redington and Black Nubble Mountains, some within one mile of especially remote and scenic sections of the Appalachian Trail. The Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the National Park Service also opposed this development and were instrumental in blocking the project. Eventually the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission rejected the project in 2007 and has upheld this decision several times. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Park Service would like to see improved siting criteria in states where wind energy appears to be viable as well as on federal lands, such as national forests, where landscapes bordering the A.T. or other sensitive resources might be excluded.
Date: March 31, 2010
Contact: Shannon Andrea, NPCA Director of Media Relations P: 202-454-3371; C: 202-365-5912
Anne Trenolone, NPCA Media Relations, 202-454-3332
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