To the editor of THE EAGLE

The proposed Garnet Hill Wind Farm in the town of Peru is a very bad project for a variety of reasons.

As a consulting forester, I manage thousands of acres across the state for my landowner clients, so I recognize the value of large blocks of forest land especially when they are well managed. This development will fragment a large intact mountain ecosystem and a very significant wildlife corridor from Peru State Forest in the south where there is a newly created Forest Reserve, northward to the Dorothy Francis Rice Sanctuary and on to the Peru Wildlife Management Area.

Habitat fragmentation is one of the greatest threats to biological diversity. Large undeveloped forested areas help mitigate threats to biodiversity. Corridors between important wildlife habitat areas allow animals and birds to travel from one area to the next increasing the chances of survival for those species. In addition, hawks and eagles use thermal wind currents over mountains during their annual migrations but they will be in grave danger flying near these huge wind turbines. Songbirds and insect eating bats will also be killed when they fly nearby.

Wind turbines have also been linked to severe health effects known as wind turbine syndrome. This is one of the reasons why property values drop as much as 40 percent for homes and land parcels that are within two miles of turbine sites.

Finally, the stated purpose of these wind "farms" is to reduce greenhouse gases but wind turbines only produce intermittent energy so baseload power plants have to be ramped up and down to accommodate the sporadic wind energy which causes a net increase in CO2 emissions.

The choice is clear. The mountains, wildlife, and the people of Peru must be protected from this destructive project.

MIKE LEONARD

Petersham

The author is a consulting forester for the North Quabbin Forestry.