Final Thoughts on Cherry County Wind, by Steve Moreland
December 10, 2016
The proponents of Cherry County Wind have continually pointed out that it is their right, as private property owners, to place wind turbines on their land if they so desire. This is a valid point, but other property owners will have their adjoining land diminish in value. Other non-adjoining land owners could very well become victims if NPPD asserts its power of eminent domain to transport the power across country to the eventual consumer.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every private property owner who benefits from wind energy, there will be at least that many more whose property rights will be compromised. Why should one property owner reap benefits when another property owner loses benefits? Therefore, Private Property Rights is basically a non-issue when considering Wind Energy for our county.
Cattle have always been King in Cherry County. Hopefully they always will be. There are more mother cows in Cherry County than in any other county in the nation. We have beautiful grasslands, big wide open blue skies, and the scenic and wild Niobrara River running through the entire 96 mile length of the county. Hunting, fishing, canoeing, and tourism are all compatible activities that take place here and add substance and revenue to our local communities. With our big wide open night skies and lack of lights, this area has become a mecca for star-gazers and studiers of astronomy. We already have many highly desirable qualities of life that money cannot buy.
With Private Property Rights being such a double-edged sword in the Cherry County Wind Energy discussion, the real issue becomes: How much do we want to promote Major Industrialization? We have some industry already, mostly agricultural products that benefit the raising of cattle. These are low-key operations that don’t interfere with our way of life. Wind Turbines are a completely different matter. Once the door is open they will be here to stay, whether they look new and work, or whether they become merely rusty broken-down eye-sores. They will multiply like prairie dogs. If fact, it is almost like taking a pristine pasture and introducing prairie dogs, in the hope that revenue gleaned from people paying to shoot the prairie dogs will add economic benefit to the pasture.
Cherry County, Nebraska is already as close to being a Utopia as is possible on this earth. There is an old saying, “You are never thirsty ‘til the well goes dry.” Others are: “Don’t fix something that isn’t broken.” “All is not gold that glitters.” “If everyone else jumps off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff, too?” and "Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it."
To the powers that be who will ultimately decide the future of Cherry County, think long and hard about the consequences and long-term effects of your decision. It will be the legacy by which you are remembered.