Friends of Maine’s Mountains challenges Audubon’s wind-energy support

December 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Posted: 12:42 PM
Updated: 2:55 PM

Friends of Maine’s Mountains challenges Audubon’s wind-energy support

The group says a recent pro-wind power report lacks scientific basis and is tainted by donor associations.

By Kelley Bouchard
Staff Writer

Friends of Maine’s Mountains is challenging Maine Audubon to retract a recently published study promoting wind energy as compatible with wildlife and to acknowledge corporate funding from the wind-power industry.

The Mars Hill wind farm stretches the length of Mars Hill Mountain. Friends of Maine’s Mountains has challenged a Maine Audubon report that concludes that such wind farms can be developed with minimal impact on wildlife.

2013 Press Herald File Photo/Gabe Souza

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Maine Audubon, a nonprofit based in Falmouth, released a report Dec. 4 saying that the state has 1.1 million acres of land with enough wind to produce power, and that wind turbines may be developed on 84 percent of that area with minimal impact on some wildlife and habitat resources.

Friends of Maine’s Mountains claims that the Audubon report is “deficient in necessary scientific rigor required to conclude that industrial wind turbines are not detrimental to Maine’s wildlife and their habitats,” according to a news release issued Wednesday.

Friends of Maine’s Mountains is a nonprofit group that has opposed wind-energy projects and advocates on behalf of natural resources, reliable energy and affordable power.

The Weld-based group also concluded that Maine Audubon’s report gives the wind industry a “free pass” to develop projects without regard for wildlife impacts, and the group’s leaders urged Maine Audubon to re-evaluate its association with wind-energy companies.

Among Maine Audubon’s top corporate donors is First Wind, a renewable-energy company that has developed and operates 16 wind-energy projects in Maine, New York, Vermont, Utah, Washington and Hawaii.

According to Maine Audubon’s website, the Boston-based firm donates at a level on par with with L.L.Bean and Maine Magazine, each having contributed more than $10,000 to the wildlife advocacy group this year.


This story will be updated.

Kelley Bouchard can be reached at 791-6328 or at:kbouchard@pressherald.comTwitter: @KelleyBouchard

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