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Published: Sunday, 3/3/2013

Moratorium on wind turbines is wise

A detection keeps tabs via radar of birds in the area of the proposed site of a wind turbine at Camp Perry, near Oak Harbor. A detection keeps tabs via radar of birds in the area of the proposed site of a wind turbine at Camp Perry, near Oak Harbor.
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The Blade’s proposal for a moratorium on new wind turbines along Lake Erie is a good one (“In defense of birds,” editorial, Feb. 14).

According to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, bird-watching has a $30 million economic impact during the annual spring neotropical bird migration. People should see the human and natural spectacle that is the Biggest Week in American Birding festival at Magee Marsh and the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge during the first two weeks of May.

But much more than a wind turbine moratorium should be enacted to protect the cultural, natural, and agricultural resources of the former Great Black Swamp of northwest Ohio.

FirstEnergy intends to desecrate the homestead of the first permanent white settlers in Ohio, James and Elizabeth Whittaker, who in 1781 built a home on the Sandusky River in what today is Fremont. First-Energy’s proposed 138,000-volt electrical lines would cut a path of destruction across the crown jewel of the Black Swamp Conservancy’s protected lands, Peninsular Farms, and would likely result in the deaths of the two pairs of bald eagles that make their homes on those lands.

When will we in the Toledo region — business interests, public agencies, individuals, and even the conservation community — realize the value of our cultural and natural resources and prime farm ground? The resources and land provide the foundation for the growth of agribusiness and ecotourism — including fishing, hunting, and bird-watching — as major drivers of our regional economy.

Executive Director Black Swamp Conservancy Perrysburg

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