Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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8/23/18  3:33 pm
Commenter: Melissa Hundley


Mountains are the natural water towers of the world, they are vital to all life on earth and to the well-being of people everywhere.  The remoteness of mountainous regions, together with their limited agricultural potential, has meant less human encroachment. As a result, mountains have become a sanctuary for fauna and flora that may have already disappeared in the lowlands.   According to National Geographic magazine, some ecologists have calculated that “over a third of known land plants and vertebrates are confined to less than 2 percent of the planet.”  North Mountain in Botetourt County is part of the Buffalo Creek Wildlife Corridor, "the future viability of many wildlife populations in North America depends on permanent linkages between disjunct habitats. Unfortunately, these linkages often are separated by human development and highway systems. Interstate 81 and related developments along this highway corridor in Virginia present a particularly problematic barrier between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. Future development associated with and proximal to I-81 will continue to diminish the value of any possible linkage, and solidify the separation of the two mountain systems. As time passes, the linkages get weaker and the barriers more impenetrable. Currently, there are few possibilities for safe passage of wildlife across the Valley and I-81. Most overpasses and underpasses along I-81 are highway corridors, not natural stream courses. The few underpasses that do accommodate streams have developments nearby that limit or prohibit safe passage of animals."  Cutting forest, building immense roads which will require mountain top blasting and flatting off the top of it, erecting massive , noisy industrial turbines in the middle of a wildlife path is a ignorant way to try to "save the planet".  

Constructing an industrial wind turbine plant on North Mountain, Botetourt County, is irresponsible and will likely cause many bird and bat deaths because it is in federally known High Risk Migratory path for raptors including the Golden Eagle.  It is a fact that wind turbines cause bat's lungs to explode when they are in the vicinity of the turbines.  There are Indiana bats caves within 5 miles of the future site in Botetourt County, the indiana bat is endangered , also Virginia-Big-Eared-Bat.  Bats are important by eating insects, bats save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars per year in pest control. Some studies have estimated that service to be worth over $3.7 billion per year, and possibly as much as $53 billion.

CommentID: 66490