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Erosion fact not fiction

Responding to a January 1997 Windpower Monthly article on wind funding in California, the author relates her encounters with erosion and other environmental concerns caused by wind farm activities in the Tehachapi area.

Erosion fact not fiction

From Georgette Theotig, Sierra Club Kern-Kaweah Chapter, Tehachapi, California

In response to your article "Demand for Hold on Wind Funding (Windpower Monthly, January 1997) I would like to add the following. I have been actively involved as a Sierra Club representative in monitoring wind energy development in the Tehachapi area since the early 1980s. All along, I have stated our position of support for this renewable energy source, but with the condition that development proceed in a responsible, environmentally sound manner.

This is not always the case in the Tehachapi resource area. I have documented many sites with seriously accelerated erosion, directly caused by wind farm activities, on local and private lands.

I do not believe it is a "figment" of either my nor Paul Gipe's imagination, nor is it "a little dirt running down a hill." In addition, the Kern-Kaweah chapter's other related concerns include visual impacts, abandoned wind turbines and the potential for significant loss of native vegetation and associated wildlife impacts in the heavily vegetated regions north of Highway 58. Paul Gipe and I are in complete agreement that these are critical issues which deserve to be appropriately addressed.

While we will continue to support renewable energy, it will be on the condition that adequate attention is given to environmentally responsible siting and development, followed by effective correction of possible significant impacts. We invite those interested for a first hand observation of these on-going concerns in Tehachapi.

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