Nature lovers will be the first to tell you how great a hike can be for your physical and mental health. Taking a hike while soaking in the sights and sounds of the environment is an experience that everyone must experience at least once.
The tone of the conversation changes the moment you talk about wind energy, though. Not everyone feels thrilled to know that a giant spinning fan will be present at their favorite hike trails. For example, some Arizonians shudder at the thought of Chevelon Butte wind farms to bolster the state’s energy production efforts.
Should you really be concerned about seeing a wind farm getting built up on some of your favorite hiking trails? Are these wind turbines going to totally ruin the experience of your future hikes? How will a wind farm affect the local wildlife that makes your favorite hiking trails?
Find out the answers to some of the biggest concerns you may have about wind farms and open your mind about them.
Do wind turbines kill birds and bats?
This is probably one of the biggest concerns you may have about wind turbines. Given its design, it’s natural that it will get in the way of flight paths for birds and bats alike. Surely, thousands of your avian friends have fallen prey to such a deadly contraption?
However, officers at the Union of Concerned Scientists cleared the air regarding that matter. In one of the studies they brought up for their comprehensive article on wind energy, they noted that birds and bats do get harmed by wind turbines at times due to the changes of wind pressure as well as habitat disruption. But they clarified that their effects are not major to the point it can affect how an ecosystem exists.
In short, wild game hunters are much more dangerous to birds than wind farms.
Does the noise caused by wind farms affect your health?
It’s no secret to everyone that wind farms could be too loud as it works to produce clean energy. You may wonder if the noise will be a danger to your hearing. You will be pleased to learn that wind turbines aren’t exactly loud.
The Telegraph did a little experiment that compared noise levels a wind farm produces to spots like quiet neighborhoods and thoroughfares. They discovered that wind farms from a respectable distance wouldn’t have that much of an impact.
Sure, a wind turbine will sound loud up close, but it’s not going to have an extreme effect on your hikes.
Can something be done to reduce a turbine’s aesthetic impact on my trails?
Unfortunately, this is something that cannot be sorted out just yet. Engineers haven’t developed any wind turbines that will look more natural than it already is.
However, would you deny your community the opportunity to cleaner energy that doesn’t impact the environment? This is what wind farms offer the communities they serve.
Surely, you wouldn’t mind having turbines on your trails as long as it provides energy to your city?