02 March 2017

Public Testimony on Nebraska Legislative Bill 504

Presented March 1, 2017 at Lincoln, NE by James E. Ducey; Valentine, Cherry county, Nebr. Public testimony on Nebraska Legislative Bill 504. Hearing held at room 1525 at the state capitol. Author of two books on Nebraska birds, more than 425 articles on a variety of Sand Hills topics (starting in 1979), creator of the archive of the Great American Sandhills, as well as historian and photographer.

It is a rare opportunity indeed to be able to sit in this hearing room and listen to the heartfelt words of so many great Nebraskans, especially on the 150th anniversary of the date when our state was established. This hearing truly represents democracy.

The people present here today represent what is means to create a vibrant and distinctive state. This is notably represented by the many from the so special Sandhill’s that have taken time from their busy ranching schedules to drive to Lincoln to make certain their important words are heard.

Ranch communities among the dunes represents so many qualities essential to understand and carry out what has been necessary to care for the sandhill land, its flora and fauna, and as notably the people. So many sandhill people - amidst many rural settings – are descendants of strong pioneers that found and appreciated places which became their homes and property which generations have clung to so tenaciously.

Personally, I have spent 35 years researching and visiting the region, and have in particular visited more than 1000 different localities to learn about the more than 400 representative wild bird species that are known to occur during the last 125 years. Time has also been spent hiking and lingering atop the topographically highest grass-covered dunes in order to view the vast skies and endless horizons not marred by ugly towers and associated powerlines. These outings have been chances to truly experience the spirit of this prairie land.

It is essential that the sand hill’s resources and its vibrant people be given the proper consideration essential for maintaining the features that make the homes and the region so specially unique. Adding multiple towers, including cellular towers, will dramatically alter the opportunity for future generations to know and appreciate what can be so important to many right now.

Proper consideration of this land’s features, its people and yes, its spirit, can best be accomplished by enacting a moratorium on the placement of industrial wind turbines until details on many topics are better known and understood. Please pass LB 504 to help heal the community.

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