Conservation

A current environmental concern of mine is the proliferation of industrial scaled windfarms on the landscapes of my Wyoming home. Expanding urban areas to the south and west of us need more and more electricity, and have legislated requirements for a certain percentage of that energy being from renewables. Wyoming is transitioning from being a major coal and oil&gas provider to providing "clean" energy to the region. But this comes at a cost to our landscapes, which are rapidly losing their wide open wilderness quality to industrialization, with power lines, enormous turbines and service roads covering hundreds of square miles of both public and private land. These turbines are likely to be there a hundred years from now. Turbines also take an uncounted toll on wildlife, whether it's eagles and bats directly impacted by the relentless cuisinarts in the sky, or sage grouse and migratory big game displaced by roads and traffic, not to mention changes to the ecosystem due to invasive species. From the human stapndpoint, these windfarms forever alter visual resources, dark skies and soundscapes. 

I am involved in a grass-roots effort to raise the tax on wind production to bring it in line with what other energy industries pay for consuming Wyoming's resources. This income could be used to reclaim areas scarrred and polluted by past extractive industries, as well as for protection of wildlife habitat and scenic vistas in areas with low potential for wind power. Part of the income could also serve to stabilize Wyoming's bomm/bust economy and provide fiscal security to our school budgets. This would seem like a no-brainer, but politics doesn't work that way, unfortunately.

It seems to me that combining the Pen with my personal artist's tools of chisel, file and brush, gives me another more straightforward way to speak out on behalf of the natural world I love.