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Osage Oppose Wind Power At Tallgrass Prairie

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the shooting-the-breeze-is-more-efficient dept.

Earth 147

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Tulsa World reports that Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle of the Osage Nation says the tribe, although not opposed to alternative energy development in general, has found significant reasons to oppose wind farms on the tallgrass prairie, 'a true national treasure' whose last small fragments remain only in Osage County and in Kansas. The Osage County wind farms would not be built in the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, located northeast of Ponca City, but would be visible from it and Preserve Director Bob Hamilton has urged the county and the state to steer wind development to areas of the county that are not ecologically sensitive. 'Not all areas in the Osage are sensitive,' says Hamilton. 'What makes the tallgrass prairie so special is its big landscape. It's not just local — it has global significance.' The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid in support of tribal members as the Osage retain their tribal mineral rights owned in common by members of the tribe. 'They weren't thinking about the mineral estate — just about compensating landowners,' says Galen Crum, chairman of the tribal Minerals Council. 'How are we supposed to know the price of oil in 50 years?'"

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147 comments

Bah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484576)

Director Bob Hamilton has urged the county and the state to steer wind development to areas of the county that are not ecologically sensitive.

Is there any area at all that is not "ecologically sensitive"?

It's not just local — it has global significance.

Rubbish.

he Osage County wind farms would not be built in the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, located northeast of Ponca City, but would be visible from it

The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid

There you have it. Greedy NIMBYs.

Re:Bah (2, Insightful)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485056)

Yeah, let's make these assholes give up something for the good of the white man, to their own detriment. That's a reasonable thing to ask of them.

Maybe we can compensate them by resettling them somewhere.

Re:Bah (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485290)

"good of the white man"? As far as I know, their houses and casino (with Freestyle Cage Fights!) use electricity too.

Re:Bah (-1, Flamebait)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485876)

The indians were MILITARILY CONQUERED. They are a defeated people and it is only by our GRACE that we gave them land back, so please roll back the rhetoric just a bit.

Re:Bah (2)

quanticle (843097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486326)

No, this is NIMBY-ism, plain and simple. The argument of the Osage people is exactly the same, and just as invalid, as that of the Massachusetts landowners who complained that an offshore windfarm would ruin the view from their beachfront homes.

Re:Bah (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486338)

As a native american I usual side with tribes, but in this instance your post is spot on.

I have also seen my tribe become greedy, selfish, and out of touch with reality.

The reality is pollution is bad, mmmmmkay ?

Another reality is peak oil mmmmmmmkay ?

So again, alternative energy is not an alternative, its going to be required.

Even if abiotic oil exists its natural production exceeds out 85 million barrel A DAY consumption.

I'd prefer that we move to biological hydrogen production, until something better comes along.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_hydrogen_production [wikipedia.org]

Environmentalists (1, Insightful)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484578)

Good to know that the noble natives are still the stalwart guardians of nature and the environment. Mining companies come and go, but a windmill will stain the land forever.

Re:Environmentalists (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484710)

Good to know that the noble natives are still the stalwart guardians of nature and the environment. Mining companies come and go, but a windmill will stain the land forever.

Huh? Why would a windmill be more permanent than a well head?

Re:Environmentalists (3, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484726)

He was being cynical! The chief is being a bit of an idiot! They think that the windmills destroy the "special" grass, but hey if oil and gas companies want to dig and drill that's OK!

Ok me being cynical! No wonder they bleeding lost the wars! Wanna make a bet the windfarm will be more valuable in 50 years than some oil or gas...

Re:Environmentalists (3, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484806)

Oil and gas can be drilled from "far" away - windmill on the other hand tend to stick out; and in great numbers.

Re:Environmentalists (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484966)

Drilling derricks can be visible from far away too. Once the derrick is done, the well pumps dot the landscape too, they aren't tall, but every well will get a pump. It seems like their second core objection is that windmills will reduce the market value of the fossil fuels they own. I really don't think that argument has merit. For one, oil is not used for grid power generation. Natural gas is used for power generation, but such an argument from one group to deny another group's ability to compete like that is just silly.

I really don't get the cultural objection to seeing windmills, I don't get why it's such an effective blocking force. Cities might not have skyscrapers if landowners from miles away can block them from being built, in the same way this argument is used to stop windmills from being built.

Re:Environmentalists (2)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485582)

I don't get the objection to seeing windmills either, but I do get the objection to making access roads for windmills through endangered habitat. It should be the same argument against oil drilling though if that is the argument.

Re:Environmentalists (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486310)

You would think that windmills are more distasteful than goatse. The fact that they are rejecting this is truly disgraceful. I'm not singling them out. It's representative of all people.

I don't understand why it is not perceived as elegant, modern, and clean.

Re:Environmentalists (2)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486360)

It seems like their second core objection is that windmills will reduce the market value of the fossil fuels they own. For one, oil is not used for grid power generation. Natural gas is used for power generation, but such an argument from one group to deny another group's ability to compete like that is just silly.

That's not their argument, at least not the way you are making it out to be. It's an issue of access to minerals, not market price being affected by windmills. From the article:

"The areas being initially considered by the first two wind development companies cover approximately 30,000 acres and are located in a prime area for future oil and gas recovery," Red Eagle's statement says.

Galen Crum, chairman of the tribal Minerals Council, whose job it is to protect the mineral estate, said that the council has met with two wind companies planning on erecting about 200 turbines on the prairie.

"They are talking about using an awful lot of ground," Crum said. "They weren't thinking about the mineral estate - just about compensating landowners.

Crum said wind leases last a half-century.

"How are we supposed to know the price of oil in 50 years?" [..] Crum said the area is home to many active and plugged wells, some ripe for reopening as the price of oil rises and new technology makes extraction more efficient.

Re:Environmentalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485546)

Native Americans have always done this sort of thing. People actually seem genuinely shocked that these guys are after a quick buck.

Just look at their history if you think I am full of it. They 'sold' huge chunks of land for essentially a few baskets of trinkets. They thought they were ripping the 'pale face' off. "How can you own land?" It was a concept that was not known to them.

They have a LONG history of ripping others off (casinos being the latest manifestation of it). The problem is if they dont see it the long term, it makes no sense to them. So they end up getting the shaft. They have a long history of being short sighted.

It is a major case of penny wise dollar foolish. Also there are many people who would take advantage of the situation (and have). Thinking long term is just not in their culture.

Re:Environmentalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484728)

whoosh.

Re:Environmentalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36486348)

*woosh. Also pretty sure your the guy he flamed posting as anon because you're embarrassed- well, posting as anon doesn't make your post any more credible. Also I'm not him either, in case you were wondering.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485126)

Posting as AC because I expect some backlash.

Native Americans (really, thought they came across a land bridge) today are nothing like their tribal ancestors. They do not care for mother earth; they will gladly tear up lands to put up casinos. They will gladly use the loop-holes of self governing to gill net until fish populations are depleted. They will gladly sell oil and mineral rights to highest bidder

Now you may say, "This helps the tribal peoples" with income and a better way of life. Well I wish I saw that where I'm from (Midwest); I see people living in trailers and poverty while some of the tribal leaders do VERY well for themselves. Greed and lack of caring is as rampant in these communities as the population at large. Perhaps the "white man" has taught them well.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (2)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485310)

The main reason being, as I often assert, is that human nature is human nature. Doesn't matter if you're "green", or black, white, or red; or for that matter, republican, democrat, libertarian, labor, tory, communist, or socialist; doesn't matter if your heritage hails from the "noble savage" or the "evil white man", or any other race; human beings are intrinsically flawed and fallible, with both good and bad traits, no matter the culture, as of course are the systems they invent, but the real problem lies with the former (being human), not the latter. Not to say that we can't improve and socially evolve, but I think we're a long way off.

This is interesting because it creates a clash between the "greens" and the noble savage theorists. Lisa Simpson's head would explode.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485364)

Meant to add: I'm not convinced that native American Indians were ever really the environmentalists they're frequently made out to be in the modern day sense, I think that's a romanticized version; they were survivalists first and foremost; they had to make the most of the natural resources they found else starvation and exposure could set in - waste was not an option. They didn't have a lot of technology at their disposal to help either; they were essentially stone age peoples, they didn't smelt iron nor even bronze. They didn't even have horses until the Europeans brought them over; horses are/were not native to the Americas.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (2)

Omestes (471991) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486246)

I'm not convinced that native American Indians were ever really the environmentalists they're frequently made out to be in the modern day sense...

Agreed. There is evidence that the Anasazi (of Northern Arizona and the Four Corners region) caused some large ecological problems, including deforestation (of one of their major food trees) and other problems. There is some evidence of various Mesoamerican tribes also collapsing due to environmental degradation.

A large part of the the myth is because most tribes were relatively small, nomadic, and not at all technologically advanced, which generally precludes much impact. Evidence supports that once tribes lost these characteristics (such as in Mesoamerica the American Southwest, and bits of the Southeast) they had as much environmental problems as any other civilization with a like level of technology and population.

Other bits of the myth sprung from us clinging to the antiquated view of Indians as "nobel savages", and from various PR stunts (think the weeping Indian imagery). This is somewhat bolstered by current PR on behalf of some tribes, they do play up this idea as much as possible as seen in TFA. One of the tribes around where I lived built a giant casino/hotel complex, then tore it down, and built another one, then tore that one down to build another, larger, casino/hotel complex. All in the space of two years. Oddly the inside of this hotel is full of pastoral images and Southwestern mythology. This same tribe gives out 100 year leases to any industrial polluter that has cash and is willing to avoid city/county/state taxes and regulations.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (1)

PwnzerDragoon (2014464) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486330)

I'm all out of mod points, so all I can do is make a post agreeing with you. Human nature never changes; the only difference between the natives of today and the natives of hundreds of years ago is that now they're surrounded by (relatively) rich white people they can exploit. Just like the white people exploited the natives when they were conquering the Americas.

People are the same, no matter where or when you go. We exploit things, the environment, even other people. Always have, always will.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486358)

Good on you. I read both comments, and I think that you stated it well, without singling them out.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485670)

Native Americans (really, thought they came across a land bridge)

Everyone came from Africa one way or another. Point is they got there first.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485750)

Point is they got there first.

Actually, with the confirmation of the pre-Clovis peoples, we can say that the current Native Americans got here second, at best. Maybe third or fourth.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485894)

And were eventually conquered. Im sorry did you have a salient point? Doesnt really matter when they got here, they couldnt hold on to it. The fact that we actually signed and honor treaties with them is quite astounding.

Re:Environmentalists - NOT A CHANCE (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485912)

My point was that you don't have to evolve from some simpler lifeform on a land mass to be the "natives," you just have to get there first. Now what was your point?

Re:Environmentalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36486454)

Look up "Myth of the Noble Savage"

Camera bent toward windmills (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484594)

Interesting to actually see what they're talking about. [youtube.com]

Undoing moderation here... (-1, Offtopic)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484750)

Just in case someone else with mod points mods the parent up without clicking the link (No one has yet, it;s at -1 already), it looks like spam to me -- a music video that has nothing to do with the topic.

I'm checking the "no bonus" boxes, so if my comment is rated over 0, please mod it down so nobody's time will be wasted on it or the parent.

Re:Camera bent toward windmills (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484774)

rickroll

Figures (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484596)

The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid in support of tribal members as the Osage retain their tribal mineral rights owned in common by members of the tribe.

There's looking out for the environment and there's looking out for number one. Now we know where they stand.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484698)

There's looking out for the environment and there's looking out for number one. Now we know where they stand.

Out standing in their field?

Re:Figures (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485164)

Indeed. I can (just about) understand if there's a chance that a windmill might clobber some unwary seagull who doesn't look where he's going, but don't expect me to be very sympathetic.

But given the Native American nations' historically much-vaunted regard for nature and the environment, it comes across as a savage indictment against them when their leaders put naked pecuniary interests ahead of ecologically sustainable energy.

Re:Figures (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484746)

you can say that again, the natives in Oklahoma rake in gobs of cash in the Indian Casinos on the sides of the major highways going through the state, the natives are the richest demographic in the state...

Re:Figures (4, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484752)

I don't understand why they can't do both: extract oil and gas, and put up wind farms.

Re:Figures (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485536)

Because the planned wind farm wasn't going to give them a penny, the oil and gas though lines their pockets nicely.

The environmental claims are just a smoke screen for their greed.

Re:Figures (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485730)

They could just build their own, the windmills aren't so expensive or heavily regulated that a small community can't build their own.

Re:Figures (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485890)

Why build your own when you can get others to do the building, while you do the earning?
They didn't have to spend a penny or lift a finger to get the oil and gas revenues, they want the same deal with the wind power.

Re:Figures (2)

global_diffusion (540737) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484930)

There's looking out for the environment and there's looking out for number one. Now we know where they stand.

I'm actually impressed. Who else is this honest? Most people wouldn't mention the oil and gas, just the environmental impact. Whether or not I agree with them, I respect the straightforwardness.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485072)

And yet they're right about the loss of landscape, even if it sounds like typical NIMBY.

Re:Figures (3, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485102)

There's looking out for the environment and there's looking out for number one.

Looking out for the environment is looking out for number one, unless you'd rather live in Mordor.

Now we know where they stand.

Firmly in the NIMBY camp, the same as pretty much everyone else. And since windmills require a lot of land - a lot of people's backyards - to produce significant amounts of power, this is yet another reason why renewable energy isn't a viable alternative to nuclear.

Re:Figures (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485188)

You might ask the neighbors of the fukishima plant in japan how having a nuclear plant in their backyard worked out.

Re:Figures (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485332)

I don't normally consider people 35 kilometers away my neighbors.

But Fukishima was a very sharing neighbor.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36486230)

Of course, we could also ask the neighbors of hundreds of nuclear power plants around the globe how its working out, too. Really different story, given that those plants have provided power to hundreds of locales for decades without a failure. All without discharging (slightly radioactive) smoke into the air all day, every day. Or without drowning square miles of river valley.

Extracting oil (2)

gdshaw (1015745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484598)

Wind power has some serious drawbacks, but the fact that it might stop you from extracting oil is not one of them.

Re:Extracting oil (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484958)

This is the part that I don't understand either. Who's saying that, and why are they saying it? It makes no sense. I couldn't get through to the main article, so all I have to go on is the summary.

Re:Extracting oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485038)

This is the part that I don't understand either.

You aren't suppose to understand - you're not smoking peyote. However, if you are smoking peyote, you must be a fucking retard for not getting it.

Re:Extracting oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485612)

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110614_12_A1_CUTLIN258728 [tulsaworld.com]

Osage Nation speaks out against proposed wind farms

By LOUISE RED CORN World Correspondent
Published: 6/14/2011 2:29 AM
Last Modified: 6/14/2011 8:03 AM

The Osage Nation, largely left out of discussions regarding commercial wind farms planned west of Pawhuska, is taking a stand against them.

On Monday, Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle said the tribe - although not opposed to alternative energy development in general - has found significant reasons to oppose wind farms on the tallgrass prairie of Osage County.

The tribe owns all mineral rights in Osage County and fears that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid in support of tribal members.

Ecological, archeological and cultural concerns also are at issue.

"The areas being initially considered by the first two wind development companies cover approximately 30,000 acres and are located in a prime area for future oil and gas recovery," Red Eagle's statement says.

Galen Crum, chairman of the tribal Minerals Council, whose job it is to protect the mineral estate, said that the council has met with two wind companies planning on erecting about 200 turbines on the prairie.

"They are talking about using an awful lot of ground," Crum said. "They weren't thinking about the mineral estate - just about compensating landowners.

Crum said wind leases last a half-century.

"How are we supposed to know the price of oil in 50 years?"

Wind Capital Group of St. Louis and TradeWind Energy of Lenexa, Kan., plan two 15-megawatt developments. A third wind company, Invenergy, is studying wind potential around Grainola, a tiny community in extreme northwest Osage County.

The companies have not found buyers for the power they would harvest from the wind, a key factor in whether the projects go forward.

Crum said the area is home to many active and plugged wells, some ripe for reopening as the price of oil rises and new technology makes extraction more efficient.

Red Eagle echoed preservationists who have opposed the wind farms, saying that the developments would have an adverse impact on the tallgrass prairie, "a true national treasure" whose last small fragments remain only in Osage County and in Kansas.

In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback last month declared a moratorium on future wind development in the Flint Hills area of the prairie, an area now designated the Tallgrass Heartland.

The Osage County wind farms would not be built in the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve but would be visible from it. Preserve Director Bob Hamilton has urged the county and the state to steer wind development to areas of the county that are not ecologically sensitive. The prairie, on and off the Nature Conservancy's preserve, is home to numerous birds of prey and the greater prairie chicken, the latter being increasingly rare birds that avoid nesting around tall structures.

"Not all areas in the Osage are sensitive," Hamilton said. "What makes the tallgrass prairie so special is its big landscape. It's not just local - it has global significance."

Hamilton said the Conservancy wants to extend federal conservation easements, now offered to ranchers in Kansas' Flint Hills, into Oklahoma. The easements would grant ranchers a one-time payment equivalent to one-third to 40 percent of the value of their land to prevent development.

"The easements lock in the status quo," Hamilton said.

Red Eagle said wind farms create a "very limited" number of jobs - eight to 10 permanent jobs per farm and 150-200 construction jobs for nine months, most for specialized workers who have to be brought in, according to the wind companies.

"Our governor is encouraging wind development in Oklahoma, particularly in the western part of the state," Red Eagle said. "Our county commissioners need revenue enhancement to effectively serve the citizens, just as the landowners see a financial opportunity for themselves.

"However, I believe there are other financial opportunities that can be explored and alternatives found for the land owners as well, such as conservation easements."

Aaron Cooper, Gov. Mary Fallin's spokesman, said Fallin sees wind as key to bringing more jobs and investment into Oklahoma.

"She also believes," Cooper added, that "new wind energy projects should take into account local concerns, environmental issues and private property rights."

Original Print Headline: Proposed wind farms draw Osage Nation opposition

By LOUISE RED CORN World Correspondent

REMEMBER WOUNDED KNEE ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484604)

They lost a long time ago. No indian givers !!

Give me alternative energy (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484630)

Just don't put it where I can see it.

I hate these kind of people.

In the Netherlands there were (are) people against the windmills for energy. I suppose they want Kinderdijk [raymonds.com] to be burned down.

In Belgium they were against a wind-farm out on sea, because it MIGHT spoil their view of their apartment blocks that ruined the Belgian coast for the rest of us.

Energy will be a AND/AND solution. We can't rely on just one source, we need many. Wind power is one of them.

Re:Give me alternative energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484704)

You forget, if its old its good, if its new its bad!!

Also, yesterday in the newspaper a saw a add for apartments in a flat'ish(4 story block) building, in the middle of the Noordwijkse dunes right next to the sea.. I saddened me we still allow it to happened.

Aesthetics... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485246)

What I don't get is what is so damn wrong with a view of wind turbines. Maybe I'm just weird or something, but I think they're beautiful. The fact that they give us (almost) free energy should be a win for everybody.

Re:Give me alternative energy (1)

paulo.casanova (2222146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485424)

There is just one argument in favor of people wanting them far away: windmills make lots of noise [wvmcre.org] ... of course I would an honest study on this as, for example, I live a mile away from a major airport and I have no troubles with the airplanes although they make more noise then windmills...

Re:Give me alternative energy (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485430)

Give me alternative energy...Just don't put it where I can see it. I hate these kind of people.

Of course, everybody is jumping immediately to the conclusion they're wrong in this case, and that nobody should ever object to any site for windmills, or else all environmentalists are hypocrites. That's not logical. Being in favor of wind power doesn't mean you have to be in favor of putting them everywhere, there are still better and worse places, and aesthetics are one perfectly valid consideration. Just as opposing drilling in ANWR doesn't mean somebody wants to halt all oil extraction tomorrow, or be a hypocrite. There is nothing wrong with arguing over specific sites so long as we still identify enough places for whatever wind investment capital is available.

Re:Give me alternative energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485548)

The vibration, noise, and incredibly high maintenance costs of windmills make them both damaging and impractical.

Low frequency vibration is very harmful to life. In both humans and other animals it causes anxiety and other mental problems.

Promote it in your community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485642)

Reading several comments that say, I hate people who don't want to see it in their community. I'd like to respond by saying promote it in your community. These companies search around for places to put these things and meet opposition.

Since you don't have a problem, contact these companies and "offer your backyard". If you are telling the truth, then its a win win. They get to put these things up, you get to see these beautiful structures obstructing your view, your community gets green energy, and more. I can't see where a bad in this at all. So rather than complain about what other people don't want in their backyard, just bring it to your backyard.

Problem solved. Right?

Re:Promote it in your community (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485706)

I live in a city, so no backyard. If I would have land, I would have offered it a LONG time ago.

I would LOVE to have the place to at least have one. Most likely my neighbors will complain that it does not look nice. Getting money, free energy AND helping making energy. Fine by my rules.

Doesn't rule out other places.

Re:Promote it in your community (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485764)

Those things don't belong in the middle of populated areas, if a disaster occurs and they fall over they should be far enough away from any other structures to cause no damage. Also ice can form on them which is very dangerous when it thaws and falls off. Having the windmills a kilometer or so away from the nearest town already makes them obstruct so little of your view that it doesn't matter.

Re:Give me alternative energy (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485744)

Seriously, idiots. The windmills don't look that bad, you'll quickly get used to appreciating the sight.

Re:Give me alternative energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485860)

Kinda like how most of us are used to seeing overhead power lines directly outside our windows. Nobody notices them anymore.

I agree (3, Insightful)

BurfCurse (937117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484680)

What makes these tall grass prairie reserves so special is that they are one of a few places in the plains where you can look across a piece of land and see what it looked like before we completely transformed everything. I personally don't think that windmills are ugly at all an I'm all for it in the midwest. But if you place a windmill farm within sight of the prarie, this feeling of it being untouched will be lost.

Re:I agree (4, Insightful)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484714)

And this isn't a problem with oil, gas or mineral developments? As per TFA: "The Osage also fear that large wind farms will interfere with extracting oil and gas, from which royalties are paid." They're willing to accept damage to the environment, on the condition they're paid.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485054)

No because windmills can be seen for miles. The small oil production buildings in Kansas can be seen for ... a football field? All I know is that the oil production stuff out in the plains is all less than one story tall. The oil production isn't in the nature preserve so you can't see it. The windmills won't be in the nature preserve but you would be able to see them from the preserve.

That is the problem.

Simple really (1, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485586)

Wind farms take up an enormous amount of area for the power they generate compared to other sources of energy. Oil fields can get by with one pumping area in many cases and by law most are limited to their foot print. Then besides having all those towers someone has to maintain the access between each tower, usually a road, maintain the lines connecting each, and to top it off you get to hear them all day and night long. Currently there are many regulations governing what protections must be maintained for the environment in regards to gas/oil drilling. There isn't much if anything in regards to maintaining wind farms.

appearances more important than reality? (2)

RighteousRaven (998592) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485004)

Part of the reason why it's so special is the fact that we've destroyed every other area of the world with mining, oil and gas extraction, agriculture and pollution. Windmills are part of the solution to that, and in the long term may help restore other areas to that condition. We should be caring more about the actual quality of our environment instead of focusing on how good it makes us feel to have one last place that is visually untouched (as opposed to [actually] untouched)

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485140)

We have hazy skies from smog pollution (I live in LA), we have trash circling the oceans, we are polluting our ground water http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/05/02/1100682108
We see oil rigs dotting the landscape where-ever oil can be found, we spilled a bazillion gallons in to the gulf last year-- and I think one year is long enough for people to mostly forget how horrifying it was. We have a nuclear reactor spewing radioactive waste in Japan.

People drive stupid cars that waste gobs of energy but are opposed to further taxing gas. I imagine we could cut upwards of 25% of our gas use in the next 10 years with a moderate taxing of gas so that people make their next car purchase with gas consumption higher on the list of features.

Perhaps seeing windmills on the prairies is the wake-up call that people need to realize that energy consumption is having an impact. Unfortunately, it probably won't be enough.

Re:I agree (2)

LittleRedStar (723170) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485606)

But if you place a windmill farm within sight of the prarie, this feeling of it being untouched will be lost.

Sorry that feeling is already lost. As I've actually traveled around the Flint Hills (further north than this proposed wind farm) you'll find the previous centuries oil rush junk abandoned everywhere. That and the power lines crisscrossing the landscape further spoils the view.

I've found the view of vast grasslands dotted with giant windmills rather attractive. Here is a picture I took from the Beaumont wind farm:

http://www.howardedin.com/test/20081108_MG_1149.jpg [howardedin.com]

Thats about 150 miles north of the Osage area.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36486034)

After all of the abuses that people like you have brought upon the Native Americans, how can you say that they should tolerate your windmills because you "find them rather attractive?"

I find it rather sick that you think your belief system should trump theirs.

Hypocrisy (5, Insightful)

Krakadoom (1407635) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484852)

Everyone loves wind power, as long as the mills aren't located anywhere near themselves. This is the story every time a project is planned. Besides it's not like you can't just dismantle a windmill, it's not like strip mining that leaves permanent scars. If the world is ever to get serious about leaving oil dependencies behind people are going to have to take the good with the bad.

Personally I love seeing windmills on our coastline and I feel good every time I look at them. They are a MUCH nicer view than the smokestack from a coal plant...

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36484976)

Wind farms suck. They are a blight and I can't wait for them to be torn down.

It's really awful at night to see all those red blinking lights.

We need to get real and go nuclear. Wind power is a farce.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485660)

Really? You'd rather have nuclear plants, with all their radioactive waste production, not to mention the slim chance of catastrophic accidents, over a couple RED BLINKING LIGHTS? You fucking baby. </ignoressarcasm>

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485658)

Which is sort of funny to me. The Turkey Hill plant in Lancaster, PA (south and west of the city along the Susquehanna) in the past year or two got 2 wind turbines. They had signs up near the plant entrance to not stop or block the entrance and the entrance was a private drive and what not, because people were driving to get closer to see the windmills.

I find them pretty neat close up or at a distance, and not just these two--I've driven up through north PA and there's a line of them on a ridgeline near a highway (I've forgotten where) and they were neat to see there too.

Maybe interestingly, head north along the same road off of the Turkey Hill plant (it turns into 441 towards Harrisburg), by a trash incinerator (originally was going to be placed next to an elementary school in East Petersburg, and now sits near a winery), then a power generation place of some sort where a couple of stacks one puffing a lot (run by Fertrell or something, not sure if coal or gas or some other hydrocarbon) which has a large double width stack that's always spewing, and TMI, which still has an operational reactor.

The output you can see miles away from Root's and Manheim even Manheim Township miles away is the coal or whatever plant. You usually never seem the steam from TMI that far away.

The other funny thing is what you smell when you drive that road. There's a few houses near the TMI plant who in the winter burn wood like there's no tomorrow and produces a ton of local pollution.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36486170)

>>Everyone loves wind power, as long as the mills aren't located anywhere near themselves

Yep. Eco-friendly Ted Kennedy sued to block windmills going up near his estate.

Hell, the DC lawyers that worked against NIMBY lawsuits on windmills filed a NIMBY lawsuit when they found out that windmills were going to go up near their farm in backwater Virginia.

The hypocrites come out of the woodwork. It's always "we like wind power, just not here". We seriously need to restructure how these sorts of lawsuits can proceed in our country.

oil (2)

Titan1080 (1328519) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484872)

In 50 years, they won't need to worry about the price of oil. They would be better off honing their traditional skills once again.

Give me a break (1)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 2 years ago | (#36484932)

"not opposed to alternative energy development in general"

Ah yes, the classic bullshit qualifier. Sort of like when people start their sentences with, "I'm not a racist, but..."

greed (1)

Nihn (1863500) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485196)

It has nothing to do with "the landscape" and everything to do with the "royalties" paid to a group of people who are not wanting to work for a living. People who try to use ascetics as an excuse for anything should never be taken seriously. They don't want a power source that doesn't pay them cash, what benefit would they gain from a clean renewable power source. Keep the drills running, keep poisoning the ground water and slowly killing the environment thru toxic revenge. It will keep the place "LOOKING" like a nice place when in fact it's a shit hole with a glitter coating.

Oblig. Futurama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485232)

LEELA - But what about your sacred land?

SINGING WIND - Land shmand! We don't wanna live on this planet. It's a dump. We'll buy new planet and act like it's sacred. With cash like this, who's going to argue? Nobody, that's who!

We Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485314)

Stole their land and slaughtered their people... let them do whatever they want.

Re:We Americans... (3, Insightful)

jmottram08 (1886654) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485492)

by "we" you mean people 200 years ago, and "them" you mean different people 200 years ago.

all about the view (2)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485446)

i'm getting tired of hearing people protest energy projects because they are "visible from . this was also one of the arguments against the ivanpah solar facility and is also thrown at homeowners that want to place solar panels. Everyone is for green energy as long as they don't have to look at it I guess.

windmills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36485620)

hey,

I am of the Miami

I make bows from Osage Orange

0This guy wants to oppose wind farms?

I extend my entire arm, and show piece pipe, tamahawk.

I have greater issuses than this,

Regards,

Da Wei

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36485810)

Osage County has an area of 2,304 square miles. (5,967 km)

It is the most populous (44,000) and the second-largest geographically (to Corson County, South Dakota) of the six U.S. counties that lie entirely within an Indian reservation. Osage County, Oklahoma [wikipedia.org]

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy.

It is protected as the largest tract of remaining tallgrass prairie in the world. The preserve contains 39,000 acres (160 km2) owned by the Conservancy and another 6,000 acres (24 km2) leased in what was the original tallgrass region of the Great Plains that stretched from Texas to Manitoba.

The tallgrass prairie owes its existence to fire, whether caused by lightening or manmade. Without fire, the prairie quickly becomes brushland. The Indians were aware of this and burned the prairie regularly to nurture new growth of succulent grasses and to kill intrusive trees and shrubs. The Nature Conservancy has continued this practice with a process called "patch burning" in which about one-third of the prairie is burned each year.

Prior to its purchase by the Nature Conservancy in 1989, the preserve was called the Barnard Ranch which had been part of the Chapman-Barnard ranch of 100,000 acres (400 km2).

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve [wikipedia.org]

The tall grass can be ten feet high.

The geek has no sense of distance or scale as the westerner understands it. The view the Osage wants to protect is a tiny fraction of its holdings ---

and there nothing the like of it to be found anywhere else on earth.

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