FREEPORT – Nancy Gray, the owner of the Harraseeket Inn, will sponsor the â€śBig Wind Regatta and Auctionâ€ť 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 5th. This event, which is being hosted by the Forest Ecology Network (FEN) and the Friends of the Highland Mountains(FHM), purpose is to raise awareness and support to stop the proposed 48 turbine industrial wind development for the Highland Mountains in Somerset county in western Maine. This industrial wind project not only would be the largest in Maine, but would be highly visible from the iconic Bigelow Preserve and Appalachian Trail.
The Big Wind Regatta and Auction will bring together many local groups from around the state who are trying to protect their ridgelines and mountaintops from the gold rush of wind developers. Jonathan Carter director of the Forest Ecology, Alan Michka, chair of the Friends of the Highland Mountains, Steve Thurston, co-chair of the Citizenâ€™s Task Force on Wind Power, and Bob Weingarten, chair of the Friends of the Boundary Mountains will be presenting. In addition, local groups from the Lincoln Lake Area, Rumford, Carthage, Woodstock, Bingham, and Record Hill will be present.
Nancy Gray, as a prominent member of the tourist industry, believes that the 360 miles of mountaintop industrial wind will â€śdestroy the very essence of why people come to Maine â€“ to find wild places and beautiful scenery that can be found nowhere elseâ€ť. She further states, â€śthat my business is dependent on tourists who view Maine as a special place. If we deface the mountaintops with massive industrial turbines, folks will stop comingâ€ť.
Jonathan Carter of FEN views mountaintop wind as an â€śecological disasters which will irreversible damage Maineâ€™s mountaintops, destroy forests, and have an adverse impact on wildlife while at the same time doing almost nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissionsâ€ť. â€ť The only folks that will benefit are the developers who will walk away with millions of our tax dollars, while the rest of us see plummeting revenues from tourism and outdoor recreation, decreased property values, and higher electric billsâ€ť.
Karen Pease of FHM sees the Highland Project as a threat to her family and community. â€śI chose to live and raise my family in the Highland Mts. It was the quality of place, the peace and solitude, and the love of nature that brought me here. And now, Highland Wind LLC is threatening that peace and quality of life with a massive industrial wind development which does not deliver what the developers promise, and does irreparable damage to these mountains. I’m doing what I can to protect my home.â€ť
The event will include a social hour, speakers, DVD presentation, Comedy show and auction. Over sixty donated items will be auction off. The proceeds will go to support the efforts of FEN and FHMsâ€™ efforts to save the Highland Mountains and Bigelow Preserve from Industrial Wind. The public and the press are invited to attend. For more info contact Jonathan Carter at 207 628 6404.
Contact Name: Jonathan Carter, Forest Ecology Network (207) 628-6404 Karen Pease, Friends of the Highland Mountains (207) 628-2070 Nancy Gray, Harraseeket Inn (207) 865-9377