RES Project Overview
These remote sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are targeted by an industrial-scale wind project proposed by RES Wind: 133 wind turbines, stretching from the Huron Mountains to the edge of L’Anse Reservation. The company’s plans include giant turbines – 500′ tall– a radical alteration to the undeveloped, wild lands of the Michigamme Highlands, including the McCormick Wilderness and treaty-protected resources of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.
Source: wind turbine site proposal data submitted by RES WIND to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Status of RES Proposal, November 2017
The cluster of blue symbols on this map indicates that a majority (~120) of the turbine sites are “Determined-cases that have a completed aeronautical study and an FAA determination.” The yellow symbols indicate additional turbine sites (~11) or “Proposed-cases that are being evaluated by the FAA.”
Source: FAA “wind turbine build out analysis map” using central coordinates 46°43’14.10″N 88°2’30.80″W.
Location of L’Anse Reservation, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
It appears that RES Wind’s transmission line will cross the L’Anse Reservation Boundary northeast of Herman.
Location of the McCormick Wilderness
Michigamme Highlands Wetlands
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), regulates wetlands under NREPA Part 303 of Public Act 451: “wetlands that are contiguous or within 500 feet of an inland lake, pond, river, or stream; a wetland which is contiguous or within 1,000 feet of a Great Lake; a wetland larger than five (5) acres in size (and) a wetland which has been determined to be essential to the preservation of the natural resource of the state from pollution, impairment, or destruction.” Part 303 requires that a permit be applied for through the MDEQ if dredging, filling, draining, or construction is to occur in certain wetland areas.
Under Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act, certain wetlands are considered “waters of the United States.” The United States Army Corps of Engineers enforces Section 404. Waters of the United States include navigable waterways and contiguous wetlands; tributaries to navigable waterways and contiguous wetlands; interstate waterways and contiguous wetlands; and certain isolated wetlands, lakes, and streams not contiguous to navigable waters of the United States. Wetlands that fit statutory criteria of Section 404 are often jurisdictional under Part 303. In those cases both MDEQ and COE issue permits (Michigan Joint Permit Program).
Wetland Mapping Tools
Turbine sites intersect with at least two regional flight paths and may present hazards for planes passing over Herman Michigan and the Michigamme Highlands. Source: Skyvector.com