Earth First! Blockades Giant Industrial Wind Turbines in Pristine Wilderness
Stratton, Maine. At about 8 a.m., Tuesday July 6, at least fifty Earth First! activists blockaded Goldbrook Rd, the access point to the Kibby Mountain wind project outside the town of Stratton, halting the construction of 22 industrial wind turbines on the delicate Alpine ecosystems of Maine’s western boundary mountains.
The action comes just before the Land Use Regulation Commission’s (LURC) meeting July 7 to consider a proposal for a similar project on neighboring Sisk Mountain, and on the heels of the national Earth First! Round River Rendezvous, hosted this year by Maine Earth First!
TransCanada, the transnational corporation responsible for the devastating practice of tar sands oil extraction in Alberta, Canada, has already built 24 mammoth turbines on Kibby Mountain, and has begun construction of an additional 22 turbines, a process that includes significant road building and wide transmission line corridors.
These projects are part of a trend that shifts from forest management to development in Maine, which threatens to permanently change the face of Maine’s North Woods, the largest undeveloped wilderness east of the Mississippi river. Both Sisk and Kibby Mountain projects will reap huge benefits for TransCanada and the landowner Plum Creek.
“In the face of the Gulf Oil Disaster, and massively destructive coal mining, we recognize the value of developing alternative energy systems,” said Meg Gilmartin of Earth First! “But these projects are a perfect example of how corporations and investors are taking advantage of the climate and energy crises to make profits while avoiding accountability. We don’t view projects on this industrial scale as being the solution to our problems.”
“If we really want to look at how the North Woods can mitigate climate change, we should restore our forest and protect sensitive ecosystems, like those on Sisk and Kibby Mountain,” said Ryan Clark of Earth First! “These unique high altitude areas are breeding grounds for the endangered Bicknell Thrush, nesting sites for the federally protected Golden Eagle and critical habitat for endangered Canadian Lynx.”
The project is also being protested for moving forward without public hearings.
Earth First! is a network of activists that focuses on grassroots organizing and direct actions in defense of the earth’s natural systems, and maintains a no-compromise stance/