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Thank you, Susan and David, for permitting this discussion.  Please, list members, do not abuse the opportunity to speak and to hear one another. 

I appreciate the passion of those who have contributed to the discussion in ways that focus on birds and conservation matters.  

There are different kinds of advocacy, protest, and activism.  Friends of Squaw Creek and Burroughs Audubon, in varying degree, are near the physical location of the proposed facility.   It’s useful and appropriate for them to be quite public in their response.  

I live in a rural community; my roots are here.  I know the response to “meddling outsiders.”  The person who lives here has credibility that no one else has, and the label “expert” is not altogether positive.  

ASM, Audubon Missouri, and other organizations in Missouri are not turning a blind eye.  We are working with American Bird Conservancy because they are equipped with experience and knowledge that we lack.  I believe it is critical to maintain a posture which will leave open the possibility of influencing location, design, and management decisions, if the unfortunate outcome is the construction of the facility near Squaw Creek.   The turbines would be on property leased from private land owners who have an understandable economic interest.  Access for monitoring wildlife kill is necessary for conservation and the energy production industry to work together, as we must.  

I believe it is important for us to consider this one proposal, on our own turf, as part of a complicated, global issue.  We need to be aware that many of our neighbors are saying, “You all have railed forever against petroleum, coal, nuclear energy, and now, this, too??”  The conversation with them and each other needs to be civil, understanding of high emotions, and backed with reason.

June Newman, ASM president
Carrollton, MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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