Posted by: winteridge | November 6, 2005

Blowin’ In The Wind…



Blowin’ In The Wind…
The Tug Hill Wind Farm. Windmill activity is really beginning to pick up on the Tug Hill, with about 100 windmills completed and another 100 to come next year. Almost ready to hook up the power and start generating.
Although you do hear some negative comments about them, I think most folks think they are beautiful and majestic and an addition to the landscape. Surely an addition to an economy that had not much of anything before. It is exciting for one who knows the Tug and has seen all this grow.
I grew up on the Tug many years ago, part of a large family on a small dairy farm. Like most people, I got out as soon as it seemed polite to do so. Nothing there unless you wanted to work on a farm or your family owned a farm-related business. But the call of the Tug has persisted over the past 50 years, and we keep going back. Folks in Lowville considered themselves just a bit more sophisticated than us hicks on The Hill, so they looked down upon us from the valley. Now they resent those who are getting the windmills, even though they stand to benefit too. I guess that is human nature.
Even thought the Tug is a beautiful and unique area, the climate is harsh, growing season is short, and the snow and wind are…hard to imagine. The weather is not ideal for dairy farming, to say the least. Over the centuries, a number of hardy immigrants have tried their luck, including the Irish, Polish, Hungarians, Dutch, and Amish. I guess some were successful to some extent, as they were able to make a living and raise a family over a lifetime of 20-50-80 years, but I don’t recall any of my neighbors getting rich. And now the small dairy farm is pretty much a thing of the past. Those who still owned the family farmland got to pay increasing taxes for few services on their dirt roads, and spent time trying to keep the alders and weeds from taking over the fields. Snowmobilers, campers, and ATVers discovered it as a playground, but didn’t add much, except for the bar owners and nickel-can collectors.
And then along came these folks who said: Let us harness all this wind that is blowing over your land. We will use a small part of your land to build some towers and access roads. We will improve your roads and bridges. We will pay you $25-50000 each year for the next 25 years, and you get to keep and enjoy the land, and don’t have to do anything. Sounds like a no-brainer! The only ones I know of getting a deal like that are the retired state employees. Except the windmill landlords don’t have guaranteed health insurance.
And so the windmills have arrived. I think they are awesome and majestic. Somehow, they look as if they belong to the Tug. The Tug Hill Windmill Farms. The Future Is Blowing In The Wind!

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Responses

  1. bloggrez: thanks for your comment…I think.

  2. I have seen these windmills & I agree that they are beautiful. Who can I contact for info on the land usage as I have over 11 acres on the hill?

  3. Mary Ann: The word is that this project is pretty much complete, but, hey, one never knows. If the government comes up with some more incentives, energy credits, and tax breaks for the windmill builders, who knows? They do have a website where you can perhaps contact someone. I believe it is http://www.mapleridgewind.com. Or try http://www.horizonwind.com. See ya on the Tug.

  4. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!

  5. I just added this web site to my feed reader, excellent stuff. Cannot get enough!


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