Tag Archives: Maine Earth First!

EF! Action Camp in Maine coming up soon…

17 Sep

a well-trained (in some ways) Maine EF!er facing off with the Law

September 28th-30th at the East Sangerville Grange

Those Maine-iacs are planning to prep you on kicking some ass for the wild.

And they’re gonna kick if off with a “Night to Howl!on Friday from 5pm – 10pm. It’ll be an evening of food, entertainment and celebration of the local culture of resistance, with music by: Sid Stutzman, Evergreen and other local musicians.

The following days are dedicated to Direct Action Trainings from 9am-5pm (12-1pm BYO lunch)

This two day long training will provide skillshares on planning and executing effective direct actions, with topics including: legal, media, strategy, facilitation and consensus, selecting a target, and  more!    Continue reading

A Bad Wind Blowing: resisting industrial wind turbines from the Everglades to the Boundary Mountains

16 Jun

By Panagioti Tsolkas, Earth First! Journal editorial collective

In a Palm Beach Post article from earlier this year: A St. Louis company, Wind Capital Group, says they hopes to build Florida’s first wind farm, on thousands of acres of sugar land east of Belle Glade. The region is known as the Everglades Agricultural Area, and thought to be a crucial component to restoring the greater Everglades watershed. But has been increasingly  encroached upon by industrial development proposals, including rock mines, an ‘inland port’ and FPL’s controversial 38oo megawatt West County Energy Center.

The company has been meeting with Palm Beach County planners to change to the county’s development rules that would be needed before its turbines could be built. Now they are courting environmental groups to accept the proposed changes.

The Chamber of Commerce loves the idea of the $250 million project. “That is tremendous,” Brenda Bunting, Executive Director of the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce, said of the project. “We would be excited to see something like that come. We are always looking for things that benefit this community.”

The company wants to build between 84 and 100 wind turbines, on land near the intersection of State Road 880 and Browns Farm Road. The150-megawatt turbines would stretch across 11,000 to 15,000 acres, said Robin Saiz, Wind Capital’s director of project development. Each turbine would stand between 262 feet and 328 feet tall, roughly the height of a 30-story building.

Environmentalists say they are concerned spinning turbines could harm birds and bats. “There are a lot of questions that remain to be answered, before we jump on the wind energy bus,” said Joanne Davis, a community planner with 1000 Friends of Florida.

Migratory birds flying through the region could be struck by the fast-moving blades. The endangered snail kite, for one, could be devastated if even a few were killed, environmentalists say. “When you talk about birds like the snail kite, we can’t afford to have any mortality,” said Drew Martin, conservation chairman for the Sierra Club’s Loxahatchee Group.

In June 2007, Florida Power & Light Co. announced plans to build the first wind farm in Florida, on Hutchinson Island, 8 miles south of Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County. The plan met resistance from nearby residents and wildlife biologists and has been put on hold.

Wind Capital says it hopes to have its turbines running by the end of next year.

In other news on industrial wind: A Campaign by the American Bird Conservancy pushes for mandatory standards on turbines


 In a June 14, 2011 press release, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) stated the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) says it received nearly 30,000 comments on the draft Wind Energy Guidelines and Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance. About 21,000 comments coming through the efforts of ABC calling for mandatory wind energy standards and mitigation for impacts to wildlife and habitat. The comment letter sent by ABC and other groups is available at http://www.abcbirds.org/Wind_Guidelines_Comment_Letter.pdf.

Nearly 30,000 was an unusually large number of comments for the Division of Habitat and Resource Conservation, which took the comments down from the FWS wind energy website after running into technical trouble posting them.

Meanwhile in Maine…

Last July, four demonstrators were arrested while blocking a turbine blade from reaching the development site of the Kibby Mountain Wind Project. The four protesters are expected to face a jury trial in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington beginning Monday, June 20th.

Courtney Butcher was charged with criminal trespassing. Erik Gillard, Ana Rodriguez, and Willow Cordes-Eklund were all charged with failure to disperse. Cordes-Eklund was arrested after U-Locking her neck beneath a tractor-trailer carrying a 15-ton turbine blade on Rt. 27.

Over 60 protesters gathered on the morning of July 6, 2010 at the development site to oppose the construction of 22 industrial wind turbines on the ridge of Kibby Mountain. The protestors claim that industrial wind development destroys the delicate Alpine ecosystems of Maine’s western boundary mountains. Protestors also object to Kibby Mountain wind developer TransCanada’s involvement in the practice of tar-sands oil extraction in Alberta, Canada.  The activists claim this shows that TransCanada is not interested in green energy, one of the supposed justifications for the Kibby project and other wind developments in Maine.

“We recognize the value of developing alternative energy systems,” said protester Meg Gilmartin of Maine Earth First! at the time of the blockade. “But these projects are an example of how corporations take advantage of the climate and energy crises to make profits while avoiding accountability. This is pristine, sensitive ecosystem being destroyed for a project that will not displace any fossil fuel energies from the grid.”

The protest preceded a Land Use Regulation Commission meeting on July 7th, where a plan for additional 15 turbines on neighboring Sisk Mountain was voted down. A later version of the proposal was approved in January. Friends of the Boundary Mountains has since filed an appeal to the Maine Supreme Court to overturn the approval, citing violation of due process, as there was no public hearing for the second Sisk Mountain proposal.

Noted for it’s extreme ecosystem sensitivity, development on Sisk Mountain was opposed by such groups as Maine Audubon Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Earth First!, The Native Forest Network, Friends of the Boundary Mountains, and the Citizen’s Task Force on Wind Power.

For more on impacts of industrial wind on wildlife, check out other recent press releases from ABC:

Conservation Groups, Thousands of Citizens Call on Feds to Protect Birds from Wind Turbines, May 19, 2011. View Release

Dramatic Video Shows Bird Strike at Wind Turbine: One Bird Currently Killed Every Minute by Wind Power in the US, April 5, 2011. View Release

Bird Group Says Cancellation of North Dakota Wind Farm Reflects Seriousness of Bird Issues April 4, 2011. View Release

Call for Public Debate on Wind Power after Misleading Industry Release on Bird Deaths March 3, 2011. View Release

New Federal Guidelines on Wind Farm Will Not Stop Bird Deaths. February 8, 2011. View Release

Wind Power Could Kill Millions of Birds Per Year by 2030. February 2, 2011. View Release

Wind Development Threatens Iconic American Birds. December 29, 2011. View Release

Maine Earth First! calls for support at trial of blockaders against industrial wind project

13 Jun

When Maine Earth First! heard that tar sands barons TransCanada and timber barons Plum Creek were looking for some “green” cred by building industrial turbines into the endangered lynx habitat of the Boundary Mountains (not to mention roads and clearcuts) they knew, despite the greenwashing and ass-kissing of industry lackeys, it was time to throw down. And they did.

Cops defending industry... You're shocked right?

Now they are looking for your support in the courtroom. Here’s the message from Maine EF! organizer Meg Gilmartin:

“…Last summer four brave folks were arrested while blocking a truck carrying parts for the wind project on Kibby Mountain in western, Maine, a remote area that is being devastated by industrial wind power. Four people, Courtney-Ann Boucher, Ana Isabel Rodriguez [an editor of the EF! Journal], Erik Gillard and Willow Amanda Cordez-Eklund were arrested in this action against the corporate domination of ecological unique mountain areas. These folks have been working hard with lawyers to develop a plan and are now taking the case to jury trial in Farmington. This trial will be an opportunity to again raise awareness about the environmental and social destruction caused by placing industrial wind power in remote locations. This is also an opportunity to recognize the power of civil disobedience and its historical and current role in this political movement.

We are asking for supporters to attend the trial on Monday June 20th at the Superior Court House in Farmington… We hope to pack the courthouse to show the public opposition to wind power that exists in this state. We are also asking folks for donations to help fund travel to court and other logistical expenses. Donations can be sent to Meg Gilmartin at PO Box 622; Corinth, Maine 04427. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or for more info.”

Thank you all for your support!!
For the wild,
Meg Gilmartin
meg.gilmartin [at] gmail [dot] com
PO Box 622, Corinth, Maine 04427

Jury Trial for Kibby Wind Protestors, 140 Main Street; Superior Court House; Farmington, Monday June 20th
Link to news article