dsc42111

Click on photo to view more aerial photographs of the wind project area proposed by Iberdrola for the ridgelines along 5,000 acres owned by Meadowsend Timberlands Ltd.

This, while multinational Iberdrola and NH-based Meadowsend Timberlands gear up to turn 5,000 acres of Vermont ridgelines — “Stiles Brook Forest” — into an industrial wind project.

As reported in the Burlington Free Press:

For the first time in a century, Vermont is losing forestland and the existing forests are being broken into smaller, fragmented parcels that threaten the state’s cherished relationship with those forests, Vermont’s top forestry official told lawmakers Thursday….

Snyder called on lawmakers to continue the discussion, make additional suggestions and “then come back with some actual plans for what are the policy changes that are needed, locally, regionally, statewide to protect forest health and integrity.”

Iberdrola's Groton wind farm

Iberdrola’s Groton, NH, wind farm for comparison

The report was commissioned by the Legislature last year to determine the effects of fragmentation on Vermont’s forests. It was greeted enthusiastically by a number of Vermont environmental organizations.

“Our forests define our state and provide an underpinning to our economic and environmental wellbeing,” said Jamey Fidel, forest and wildlife program director for the Vermont Natural Resources Council. “Quite simply, the importance of our forests cannot be overstated, but increasing land fragmentation is compromising the integrity of our forests.”…

Over the last century, the forests continued to regrow, until recent years.

“That’s stopping. It’s at a tipping point where we are actually starting to see a loss of forest land,” Snyder said. “While we still are largely forested, that’s kind of the whole point, acting now, we know actions now have repercussions down the road.”

Read the rest.