I am writing with concern to the proposed Big Thunder Wind Park on the Norwester Mountains near Thunder Bay, Ontario. I am a resident of the city of Thunder Bay, and hike frequently in the area.
Three summers ago my wife and I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon canoeing on Loch Lomond. We were surprised to find a pristine wilderness just minutes from Thunder Bay, with beautiful clear water, and big old spruce and pine trees. In just a few hours of canoeing, we saw a bear, and a moose cow with a baby moose. I had never seen a baby moose before, it was a beautiful moment. The experience left me with a sense of awe and gratitude for this place.
We spend our summers canoeing the many rivers and lakes in our region. We often spend a weekend outdoors without seeing any large mammals. I have noticed that many river systems have logging just a few kilometers from the river itself.
The Loch Lomond area and Norwester mountains are a pristine wilderness area, just minutes from a large urban centre. As far as I know, this area has never been logged. It was protected because up until recently, it was the source of drinking water for the city of Thunder Bay. Having wind turbines in the area will spoil the wilderness experience for hikers and boaters, as well as negatively impact the large mammals and birds. The peregrine falcon, which is listed as threatened on the Endangered Species list, nests in the area.
We are not against wind energy, but this is not the right location for wind turbines in our area. It would make sense to me to put wind turbines in areas that have already had significant human impact, such as old industrial sites, or old logging sites. It makes no sense to put turbines in a pristine wilderness.
We are asking you to reject the Big Thunder Wind Park on environmental grounds. There are many residents of Thunder Bay such as ourselves, who do not live in the immediate area, but who are opposed to this project.
In the future, we would like to take our children up to this area, to have the same experiences connecting with nature. There are not many forested areas untouched by logging, especially this close to a city. Please help us to preserve this area for our future generations.