Many Vancouver Audubon Society members and I oppose the proposed Whistling Ridge wind project near White Salmon. While we support wind energy in general, this particular proposal by the SDS Lumber Company fails on several counts. Their environmental impact statement has too little data about the migratory corridor under consideration. Owl nesting sites are in this area and eagles, hawks, songbirds and bats travel through this route as well. Additionally, this area is already a state-designated protection area for the spotted owl. The turbine blades turn at deceptively fast speeds, which birds are often unable to navigate. This causes avian fatalities.
Honest efforts have been made to draw the developer into discussion about realistic modifications, yet there has been no yield. SDS wants it all. The Washington Energy Facility Siting Council sent a recommendation to the governor reducing the size of the project. If it comes down to an “all or nothing” decision, let us hope the governor decides to end this project. We do not need one more poorly sited wind project. Let’s protect the avian population and the scenery in the Columbia Gorge.