To the editor:
With the proposed Jacks Mountain Wind Turbine project looming in our county's future, now is the time to stop and seriously consider how an industrial wind power plant will forever change the face of Jacks Mountain and Mifflin County.
Several organizations are currently banding together to help protect Jacks Mountain, not only because of the impact to wildlife and bird migration, but also because of the permanent topography changes to the mountain, which can impact the watershed in the heart of Mifflin County. To place wind turbines on Jacks, the top of the mountain will need to be leveled off, involving blasting and moving huge amounts of earth so that dozens of 400-foot tall towers can be put in place. Once established, these towers and blades will disrupt the recreational use of the airspace above and beside the mountain forever. This could decrease tourism opportunities that bring much needed revenue to our economy through local sailplane, paraglider and hanggliding events on and around Jacks.
Once these towers go up, the mountain will never be the same. What will happen to these towers when their 29-year lease expires? Currently, wind turbines in Pennsylvania provide less than two percent of all produced electricity going into our local grid. Is it worth permanently destroying the beauty of Jacks for such little green energy gain?
Union Township recently passed an ordinance that will not keep the wind turbine companies from building on Jacks, but it will help to protect landowner property lines from the constant noise and low-frequency vibrations put out by these towers. Their ordinance also helps to protect the inevitable impact to local watersheds and enforces reasonable restrictions on turbine construction. If you live in Menno, Oliver, Granville or Wayne townships, please contact your local township supervisors immediately and ask them to consider passing similar ordinances for your area.
For more information contact S.O.A.R. or Save Our Allegheny Ridges at www.saveouralleghenyridges.org or find them on Facebook. SOAR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the historic, natural and scenic integrity of Pennsylvania's mountains. Also on Facebook are the "Friends of Jacks Mountain," a varied and local group that is meeting bi-weekly with S.O.A.R. Please get involved now to help keep the beauty of Jacks Mountain unchanged for generations to come. A website for Friends of Jacks Mountain will soon be up and running.
S.O.A.R. & Friends of Jacks Mountain Member