Orleans prosecutor drops charges against Lowell wind protesters

The Orleans County state’s attorney decided last week to drop charges against six anti-wind demonstrators for allegedly trespassing on disputed land near the Lowell Mountain wind project.

The protesters in 2011 were arrested and charged with trespass when they blockaded the construction of Green Mountain Power’s 21-turbine wind farm in the Northeast Kingdom.

The protesters had permission from a neighboring property owner to camp near the site. The owners, Don and Shirley Nelson, disputed a property line with GMP before selling their land to the company for $1.3 million.

GMP said it will support the state’s attorney’s decision to drop the charges.

“We’re really happy that everybody is going to be able to move forward,” said Dorothy Schnure, a GMP spokesperson.

The attorney’s motion will not affect a jury decision in December convicting another six protesters of trespass. The Vermont Supreme Court later denied the protesters’ appeal.

John Herrick

Comments

  1. Paul Lorenzini :

    the Orleans prosecutor is a persecutor of fossil fuel users. Does they enforce the law or only the ones they like, Holder style.

  2. Fred Woogmaster :

    There is a measure of justice in this action; not enough to counter the various injustices embedded in this issue, but a measure.

    Good decision. Thank you.

  3. Sara Leggett :

    New tech here which may eliminate some wind issues. Research Artemis roof-top units that are really quiet. A Dutch company.

    • Richard Ratico :

      Roof top units look cool but will NEVER generate useful amounts of energy at a price that makes sense.

      Large turbines, like those at Lowell, are the way to go. Mountaintops in Vermont are where the winds are strong enough to produce clean, renewable power economically.

  4. Wayne Andrews :

    The reason why this was dropped is due to the fact of an unknown property line.

    • Pat McGarry :

      It goes one step further than that- mistake of fact is an affirmative defense to trespass to land. Even if the protesters were on GMP’s land and it could be proven, if the protestors believed that they were on the Nelson property with permission, they are not guilty of trespass.

  5. Annette Smith :

    The charges were dropped because GMP admits that they took land from the Nelsons and the people who were arrested were on the Nelson’s property.

  6. walter moses :

    So glad to see that Dottie Schnure gave this her blessing.

  7. Mike Waters :

    that is nice

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