Hey! Just taking the new blog for a first spin.
The article below caught my eye this morning when I checked my Google Alerts. It concerns the approval process for a windfarm in New Hampshire. Of interest to Restoration Systems is the large offering of mitigation the developer of the windfarm proposed to off-set the environmental damage resulting from the development of the power. In this case the wind farm only provided “preservation” based off-sets. It begs me to ask why do these kind of deals get down in such an ad-hoc fashion? Why was not the investment made ahead of time by private capital to preserve such lands and sell credits to the development? If not the total mitigation package, at least portion of the package could have been from pre-planned and purchased conservation banks. In any case, from Restoration Systems perspective, it is good to see mitigation being required.
WIND FARM POISED FOR APPROVAL
June 03, 2009
CONCORD – The wind farm proposed for central Coös County has cleared another hurdle.
The seven-member Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) voted unanimously on Wednesday afternoon that constructing and operating the 33-turbine 99-megawatt wind farm would not have unreasonable adverse effects on the natural environment, water and air quality, and public health and safety.
IT GOES ON TO SAY….
SEC members spent the bulk of its time on Wednesday asking questions of a two-person panel of wildlife biologists who both helped forge the mitigation package that became an integral part of GRP’s proposal.
GRP has agreed to conserve 1,735 acres of high-elevation spruce-fir forest by transferring ownership to the state in perpetuity. The package includes 1,281 acres on Mt. Kelsey as well as 220 acres on Long Mountain and 60 acres on Muise Mountain to the west, both of which abut the 39,000-acre Nash Stream State Forest, about half of which is protected from any timber harvesting.
In their pre-filed testimony at the start of the process, representatives of both Fish and Game and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) were particularly concerned about the destruction and/or disturbance of habitat used by the American marten, three-toed woodpecker, and Bicknell’s thrush as well as that of potential travel routes and habitat used by the Canada lynx.
In addition to designating specific acres for permanent protection, the mitigation package also calls for GRP to give $750,000 to the state to conserve additional acreage in Coös County, with a particular focus on high-elevation habitat.