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Statement regarding the Pattern Energy Uplands Wind project

Driftless Area Land Conservancy's purpose is to maintain and enhance the health, diversity, and beauty of Southwest Wisconsin's natural, agricultural and scenic landscape through permanent land protection and restoration, and to improve people's lives by connecting them to the land and to each other. We carry out this mission through focused land protection and advocacy, connecting landowners and land managers to the resources they need to manage their land well, and by providing opportunities for people to engage with and enjoy the outdoors.

Climate change is a significant factor affecting our work and the land that we steward and land management is a critical strategy to help adapt to a changing climate. We are including considerations for reducing climatic impact in conservation and land protection planning and policy, and by promoting and educating landowners about natural climate solutions (land management practices that sequester carbon in the soil), and in management of our own properties. We have nearly 8,000 acres at 50 sites in permanent protected status and are continually protecting and restoring land in partnership with landowners.

As a result of our work in opposition to the Cardinal-Hickory Creek (CHC) transmission line, we have been asked to take a position on Pattern Energy’s Uplands Wind project. Taking on the CHC opposition was a significant undertaking and a shift in our core work. However it was critically important as the line was directly threatening compliance with several conservation easements, which we are legally obligated to defend. We remain focused on and committed to our opposition to the CHC transmission line, and note that Pattern Energy has stated that the Uplands Wind project is dependent upon it. We are not taking a position on the Uplands Wind project at this time, rather we suggest that this is the moment for those involved in all facets of stewardship of our area to take the time to proactively assess and plan to protect the vital natural resources of Southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless Area.

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