About 200 people gathered on the Statehouse lawn on Friday to voice their opposition to large-scale wind projects.
A few of the protesters stood out from the crowd. They were dressed in Revolutionary War garb and were there because of a planned wind development on a ridgeline overlooking the Hubbardton Battlefield site.
Jim Ross is from Middlebury, and says that over the last 30 years he’s taken part in re-enactments at the battlefield.
"And we’re here to support any efforts to protect Hubbardton Battlefield, and the ridge that overlooks it," he says. "Pittsford Ridge was the actual place that in 1777 the Battle of Hubbardton took place. Although I’m very much in favor of alternative energy, I’m not in favor of putting windmills over one of Vermont’s most prestigious Revolutionary War sites."
Charles Johnson from East Montpelier was also in the crowd. He’s a former state naturalist, and is concerned about the environmental impacts of building roads and placing wind turbines in fragile mountain ecosystems.
"We’re very unsure of effects on wildlife, on bird populations, migrating birds, on bats, which are already in trouble," Johnson says. "We don’t know the full effects of all the heavy construction on watersheds, segmenting forested habitat the way we’re doing it. There are a lot of unknowns. It’s time to slow down and take another look and really assess this."
The demonstrators prepared a symbolic "certificate of public harm" to give to the Vermont Public Service Board which has issued permits for wind projects in Sheffield, Lowell, Georgia and Deerfield.