This letter is being written with hopes that Gov. Chris Gregoire might read my concern. I was told that she will not read public comments or take phone calls regarding the Whistling Ridge Project. This wind project will place 400-foot-high wind turbines in a location that will forever mar the vistas that inspired protection of the Columbia River Gorge. Wind energy has proven to be not economical and relies on huge subsidies and tax breaks.
It took years to create the National Scenic Act, and we just celebrated the 25th anniversary of that act. The Columbia Gorge has become a worldwide tourist destination. Counties throughout the Gorge have seen a shift from timber industry to tourism. With tourism comes tourist dollars. The timber industry has been dwindling for 50 years. It’s important to move with the times and continue to promote tourism to bring badly needed money to the counties throughout the Gorge. To remove trees to erect wind turbines on the skylines will be counter-productive to all the time, money, and effort that was used to create the National Scenic Area Act. Wind farms can be in other areas. We have only one Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.