What we do, and why we do it.
We are members of Save Our Allegheny Ridges (SOAR), a non-profit dedicated to protecting forested ridges and communities from industrial wind development. SOAR works with communities in Pennsylvania that want to protect their health, rural character, and wildlife from industrial wind development.
Since we live in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, our chapter of SOAR is named the Friends of Bedford County Mountains. We have been active in protecting rural landscapes in Bedford C ounty since 2005, when many mountain tops in our area were leased for industrial wind projects.
The area at risk right now is a section of a mountain that has 3 different names: Dunning, Brumbaugh, and Evitt’s. The mountain curves to form a cove and the scenic valley below the western flanks is called Dutch Corner, part of Bedford Township. The other communities that will be impacted are in South Woodbury and East St. Clair Townships.
Dutch Corner residents spearheaded the research, which led to Dutch Corner being listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. It is the largest historic agricultural district in Pennsylvania and exemplifies the rural landscape reminiscent of earlier times when farm fields and fence rows harbored cattle, sheep, and crops. The countryside is dotted with historic German farmhouses, churches, and an old stone schoolhouse.
We have asked the Bedford Township Supervisors to update their 10-year old wind ordinance since it is outdated and inadequate. Industrial wind turbines are now much taller (about 600 feet in our state) and louder, thereby reducing property values and creating health problems, in addition to degrading historic properties. It is illegal to prohibit wind development in Townships, but we’d like to see better protections for residents who would be impacted in the three townships if the wind project is built: Bedford, South Woodbury, & East St. Clair.
On December 10th, 2020 Attorney Bucknum gave a presentation to the Bedford Township Supervisors and solicitor asking them to update and revise the current wind ordinance.
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