Charges turbines will cut down space for hunting

To the editor:

This letter is to all hunters and hikers who enjoy Jacks Mountain. In the various long glowing letters from representatives of E.ON and Volkswind, did they mention to you about the “safety zone”? Let me provide you with information you should be made aware of.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission requires safety zones around turbines to be a radius of 450 feet or 150 yards, which equals 14 acres, the equivalent of almost 11 football fields for each turbine. In a letter to a member of SOAR (Save Our Allegheny Ridges) from John Taucher, Wildlife Biologist/Wind Energy Project Coordinator, Pennsylvania Game Commission: “While more goes into the determination, here is an explanation why the classification of a structure is taken into consideration. The turbine is considered an occupied structure, not necessarily because it has a door, but rather because at any given time there may be personnel at or in the turbine. As such, the occupied structure is assigned a safety zone. If it were not occupied, such as a telecommunications tower, it would not have a safety zone assigned. The safety zone for firearms season is 450 feet. If we calculate the area of the safety zone on a single turbine, it will affect over 14 acres. So during certain times of year, each turbine can have dramatic impacts to the inherent recreational use of large portions of state game lands.”

As such, the wind turbines should have a safety zone around them. This will eliminate a lot of hunting area. If you don’t hunt or hike to the top of the mountain, I guess this will not be a problem, however, what if your deer runs up -what then? Are you going to know where the boundary of the safety zone starts?

Now, remember that they are going to remove approximately 100 feet from the top of the mountain, so now your area has been lowered and diminished. It is estimated if E.ON and Volkswind build 90 turbines that will remove a total of 1,260 acres from hunting and hiking. Are you comfortable with this? Please vote “NO” to wind turbines.

Mary Hayes