In memory of the moose some are trying to forget. Earlier this month an acquaintance from Grafton emailed me photos of a bull moose that had died at one of the test towers on Meadowsend Timberlands property, the site of the proposed industrial wind project. I learned later on that these photos were taken with a cell phone on October 5, 2014 to show a dead moose with his antlers tangled up in what look like guy wire cables.
In the photo the moose appears to have been dead for some time. The area around the moose is completely stripped of vegetation because, it would seem, the moose’s reach to food was restricted by the cable that his antlers were tangled up in. Other coils of cable are visible as well.
My acquaintance also showed one of the photos of the dead moose to Al Sands at a select board meeting. Sands was possibly the acting chairman of the Grafton select board at the time. My acquaintance told Sands that the moose’s death suggested Iberdrola was not adequately monitoring the test tower sites. Sands has not gotten back to my acquaintance about the matter. I have spoken to two other people who attended that meeting, and they remember the photos of the dead moose being passed around the audience.
On October 8 I visited all three of the test towers on the Meadowsend property, and found and collected a quantity of moose hair at the “MET-1” site in Windham. I also noted tree stumps that matched the stumps in the photos I had seen. The coils of wire were now gone and the cable wraps had been changed since the photos of the dead moose were taken.
A week later I went back to the “MET 1” site with a companion to share and compare observations. I took photos that showed that the stumps and trees matched up with those in the original photos. This was the site where the moose had died. A professional photographer is making copies of the photos that I took.
Since the scene at the test tower site has changed from the time the photos were taken it would appear that Meadowsend and Iberdrola were notified about the dead moose at the “MET 1” site and then proceeded to remove the coils of wire and alter the wire wraps.
As far as I know there have been no news releases about the incident. I have contacted Vermont Fish and Wildlife Officer, Lt. Greg Eckhardt to inquire about any report of the moose death at the “MET 1” site. Lt. Eckhardt has advised me that there is no record of the moose death having been reported.
I would hope that Meadowsend and Iberdrola would do whatever is necessary to prevent such a horrific event from ever happening again. I recommend the removal of loose-coiled cables that are within 15 feet of the ground. Or, better yet, remove the test towers and all their cable systems entirely.
My thanks go out to all the individuals who had compassion and respect for Vermont’s wildlife as well as the courage to come forward with the photos and information relevant to this incident. I would welcome input from others who may have been witnesses or who have any information relating to it. It is important that any and all information about this incident be reported.
Robert C. Bingham
Chair of the Windham Planning Commission and a retired Vermont Fish and Wildlife employee.