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The Whistling Ridge Project has stirred up an ill wind regarding renewable energy versus environmental issues, including the preservation of aesthetics and habitat. A scaled down version of the project was recently approved by Washington's Governor, Christine Gregoire.
Opponents of the Whistling Ridge Project, claim dozens of 430 feet high wind turbines would be visible for many miles within the Columbia River Gorge. In addition, they say the project would destroy acres of forests and harm wildlife, especially migratory birds and bats.
The Columbia River Gorge recently ranked 6th internationally, and second nationally among sustainable tourist destinations by National Geographic Traveler. The National Scenic Area offers year round recreation amid breath taking vistas.
Travelers driving through the Columbia River Gorge are treated to views of rugged cliffs, mountains, beautiful rivers, and a multitude of waterfalls. The area encompasses 292,500 acres and spans two states, southern Washington and northern Oregon.
The Governnor's scaled down version of the Whistling Ridge Project allows for 35 new wind turbines (instead of 50) on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge. Gregoire believes the decision meets the need for clean energy resources, and brings needed jobs and revenue to Skamania County.
Developers of the Skamania county Wind Farm say a scaled down version of their project is not financially viable. For now, the Whistling Ridge Project remains on hold. Opponents will likely appeal the Governor's decision, and have 30 days to file legal challenges in Thurston County Superior Court.
It's interesting to note, the proposed Wind Farm would produce less than 25 megawatts out of the more than 17,000 megawatts of current wind energy capacity - including all built, approved and proposed projects in Washington and Oregon. Currently, much of the wind energy produced in the Northwest is shipped to California.
The Governor's approval gives the green light for construction to begin on the project within five years, and that could be extended for another five years. Therefore, it appears as if the Whistling Ridge Project has the potential to stir up an ill wind for perhaps, years to come.
As an EcoBroker, I combine my love of nature, people and the planet with my job as a Realtor®, that way, I can help you live in a more beautiful, comfortable and healthier environment, and save you money. Let me be your guide.
In addition, my passion for the Northwest lifestyle and our area's many neighborhoods ensure you a great selling or buying experience.
"Exploring Clark County" is all about wonderful towns, homes, neighborhoods and lifestyles available in the beautiful Southwest Washington portion of the Pacific Northwest. Plus, you'll find some observations and occasional opinions with a hint of Green.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.