Unpatriotic Threat To American Eagle Habitat

New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. (NYRI) plans to install 200 miles of 400-kilovolt 1200 megawatt DC power-transmission lines from the town of Marcy, NY near Utica, to the town of New Windsor in Orange County to supply power to New York City and Long Island.

73 miles of this line would be constructed along the railroad tracks on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River from Hancock, to Port Jervis, NY. This stretch of the river is the principle breeding ground of the American Bald Eagle.

It is recognized that this river route is the cheapest way to build the proposed power line, but certainly isn't the only way. NYRI has explored other options, including placing the power lines along existing highway rights-of-way. This would be, of course, a more appropriate alternative. It would not disrupt the natural habitat of the Bald Eagle, nor mar the beauty of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River corridor.

The Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition (UDPC) has retained Attorney Richard J. Lippes in hopes of ending or diverting this project. He is nationally recognized for successful legal advocacy of plaintiffs in high profile and historic environmental and preservation cases, such as Love Canal and Three Mile Island.

The NYRI Power Line Project would turn the river corridor into a construction zone for over 2 years. The noise pollution of dynamite blasting, diesel cranes, and general commotion would displace wildlife, including eagles, perhaps forever. No community would be spared, and the economic damage would be felt for years. The tranquil beauty of pristine rivers would vanish, and so would fishermen, summer tourists and the American eagle.

Even if a few eagles remained, they would most likely perish hitting, or sitting on the finished power lines. Furthermore, it is a known fact that even getting close to electrified lines – especially high-voltage lines – is dangerous and potentially lethal.

The NYRI is a privately owned and privately funded for-profit company. NYRI, which has very big money behind it, is represented by the powerful New York law firm of former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Although the NYRI Project keeps an office in Albany, N.Y., a Canadian entrepreneur named Richard Muddiman is its president. NYRI investors in this one billion dollar venture remain anonymous. One has to wonder if any of these investors are US citizens. The question must be asked why should foreign businessmen get rich at the expense of our national bird? Why should anyone?

This project was originally proposed by a company called Pegasus in 2003. NYRI purchased the rights from them to run utilities along the rail line of Norfolk & Southern. Pegasus was, curiously, also headed by Canadian Richard A. Muddiman. I believe his nickname is RAM!

The high voltage power lines would be mounted on 130 foot high towers and spaced every 800 feet for 200 miles. It would transform two of the most beautiful rivers in the U.S; the Lackawaxen and the Delaware, into an industrial conduit.

The NYRI Power Line Project would have a devastating impact on not only the scenic beauty of this area, but on the entire eagle population. Eagles are not very tolerant of human activity. Human presence can stress these birds, particularly nesting eaglets and can negatively affect their feeding and roosting habits. Eagle watchers are instructed to be very careful when observing these majestic creatures. Binoculars are used at a safe distance. On an interesting note, a quaint general store in Rowland, Pa. has placed a telescope in front of a window facing the Lackawaxen River. Customers can view an active nest where eagles are raising their young.

This beautiful area is protected by several acts of Congress, including the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which was amended to protect the Upper Delaware River in 1978. This proposed construction is in direct violation of this act of congress, but NYRI intends to push ahead with their money making scheme. It is said that they already have powerful lobbyists in Washington working for them. It seems that nothing can stop profit privateers from breaking our national laws which are supposed to protect the environment.

Interestingly, the application by NYRI for designation under the new Bush energy bill will be pitting the US Department of Energy and US Department of the Interior National Park Service against one another.

In addition to the UDPC, many other opposition forces have gathered in an attempt to block this destruction of the Upper Delaware and Lackawaxen Rivers. Besides the support of residents and businesses throughout the region, there is also impressive environmental and political backing: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Pres., The Waterkeeper Alliance), the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), NY Senators James L. Seward and Raymond A. Meier, US Representative Don Sherwood of Pa., Pa. Representatives Maurice Hinchey and Jerry Birmelin, the National Park Service, Sierra Club, American Canoe Association, Environmental Advocates of N.Y. and many others.

Astonishingly, on May 16, aids at the Washington offices of Senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum said that to their knowledge neither Senator had taken a stand on the issue.

The American Bald Eagle is one of the most magnificent creatures on Earth. It should be our responsibility to insure the safety of its habitats and preserve the areas in which it feeds and breeds. The eagle is the symbol of our very freedom, as Americans. We should make sure that future generations can watch them as they soar in the sky.

The Bald Eagle, which was almost extinct twenty-five years ago, has made a triumphant comeback. Will we allow this tragedy to happen again? Threatening the safety of the habitat of the American Bald Eagle is paramount to burning our National Flag. It is unpatriotic and unforgivable! This project should be stopped and stopped at once. If NYRI gets approval on the state level, there will be little chance of stopping them once they reach Washington.

The Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition (UDPC) needs your support. Please help by joining and making a donation online at Click Here or by writing a tax-deductible check to: UDPC, P.O. Box 252, Narrowsburg, N.Y. 12764.

You may also sign online petitions, protesting the NYRI project at:
Click Here
Click Here

Please check out The American Bald Eagle Webcam
http:www.nfw.org

Unpatriotic Threat To American Eagle Habitat 7.8 of 10 on the basis of 2109 Review.