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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for June 22, 2011

Letters and comments for June 22, 2011

Letters and comments for June 22, 2011

Tax money blows in wind

To the Editor:

In response to Mr. Knowles’ comments of June 14, regarding employment: Horizon has stated they will create between eight and 12 permanent jobs, not 20. Mr. Knowles failed to include in his comments how the development of a wind farm in Union County will impact existing employment.

For example, hunters and anglers each year contribute around $163,000 directly to the local economy with an overall impact closer to $392,000. The multiple uses made of Ladd Marsh by the public is estimated to bring in approximately $1 million annually. Consider the impacts to elk when you remove 47 square miles of habitat used by 300 to 400 head of elk as winter range.

Studies at Elkhorn Wind Farm show that elk still pass through this area, but are displaced in terms of ongoing use.

According to ODFW comments to the Energy Siting Committee (55 pages of concern total!), the adjoining wildlife areas are at or near capacity for elk. Elk will be displaced into the valley floor resulting in damage to crops and fences and the death of young elk due to gorging on winter wheat. ODFW stated they would have to reduce population goals to reflect the lost habitat. Result: fewer hunting tags, fewer hunters, less money spent by hunters, fewer elk for viewing and fewer jobs that support these activities.

Consider the negative consequences to property values, sight-seeing, quality of life and wildlife, to name only a few. Each of these results in loss of employment in Union County. The cost of these eight to 12 jobs must include the loss of other environmentally friendly jobs as well as the nearly $600 million of public money in the form of tax incentives, grants, interest breaks, etc.

If Horizon Wind builds this wind farm or makes a donation, it is your tax money they are spending.

Irene Gilbert

La Grande

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