Opponents say they'll continue fighting planned wind farms in northern Oklahoma county

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PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma — Opponents of two planned wind farms in Osage County say they'll keep fighting the developments.

One wind farm is under construction in the northern Oklahoma county, and the other recently won a court order to allow construction to begin.

The Osage Nation has long opposed both. It claims one of the developments, the Osage Wind project, violates the tribe's mineral rights by removing rock to build foundations for the turbine towers.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs said the wind farm developers must seek a permit from the tribe. But the developers said no such permit is required.

Almost 100 people met Monday in an Osage County theater to keep fighting the wind farms, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1EZPtIC ) reported.

"Driving west on 60," rancher Ford Drummer said, referring to U.S. 60 between Pawhuska and Ponca City, "has always been one of my favorite drives, where the landscape just opens up. It's going to be marred for a generation now."

Meanwhile, the county Board of Adjustment's attorney said Monday that it hasn't decided yet how it will respond to a district court ruling last week that the board must grant a permit for the second wind farm development, the Mustang Run project. The board had refused to grant the permit.

But Wilson Pipestem, an attorney for the Osage Nation, said it will continue to oppose the Mustang Run project.

"This fight is far from over," he told Monday's audience. "There are a lot of things going on to try to stop this. We won't give up."

The Osage Wind project will include 94 turbines across more than 8,000 acres in Osage County. The Mustang Wind project is planning to add another 64 turbines in the area.


Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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