Protesters Return to Lowell, Stay Off Nelson Land

LOWELL – Lowell wind project opponents gathered on Lowell Mountain Tuesday, all day, to show their disapproval of the wind project now under construction. Blasting occurred at approximately 12:30, but it was on the other side of the ridge, far from the protesters. Opponents reported that signs were being posted in the area to prevent them from getting to close to the blasting zone. On Friday, an Orleans Superior Court judge issued a restraining order to keep people 1000 feet away where blasting is slated to occur. Campers had been on Don and Shirley Nelson’s property, which abuts the property being used by Green Mountain Power (GMP) to develop the 21-turbine project. The campers intended to occupy an area near where blasting was to occur in hopes of stopping the project.The court order also applied to the Nelsons. Don Nelson said he posted his property to keep people off, and was not involved with those who were at the location Tuesday. He said they were not on his property, but his neighbor’s. A small group gathered at the bottom of the mountain Tuesday and were set up just beyond the Nelson’s property line.Ann Brigham of Greensboro, along with her dog, arrived at the base of the mountain early in the afternoon, wearing rubber boots. She asked for directions on how to get to the top where she could meet up with other protesters. Brigham said it was her first time at that particular location during the protest time. “This is a tragedy,” she said. “To see the wildlife habitat taken away; it’s devastating.” She also said she thought tourism would be hurt by the turbines. Asked what she wanted to accomplish after making her hike to the ridgeline, she responded that she didn’t have an agenda, she just wanted to make her way up. She said she had been reading about the issues surrounding wind turbines for a long time.Neil Fromm of East Albany was making his way down the mountain range Tuesday afternoon. He said about six people remained at the top and he’d met another four on their way up the mountain to join with others. Fromm said he is not against wind turbines in general, but he doesn’t think they should be located on ridgelines. He doesn’t want the mountains to be blasted away, he said.Bill Morrison of Wolcott was also at the ridgeline that same day. “Big wind turbines spoil the scenery of Vermont,” he said.Several protesters, along with Mike Nelson, Don and Shirley Nelson’s son, talked about the disputed property line between the Nelson farm and the land where the project is being constructed. They believe the line is incorrect and GMP is actually clearing trees on their property. GMP officials said they have seen no evidence that supports the claim.