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Mon April 4, 2011
Wyoming rancher a spokesman for wind
By Bob Beck
Evanston, WY – An Evanston sheep and cattle rancher has become a national spokesman for wind energy. Shaun Sims says a wind energy company approached his family about installing wind turbines on their property five years ago. He says the offer came at a point when they were having a tough time financially.
"It's a tough business to stay profitable in. We looked at things we could do on the ranch and not have out families leave it and get jobs in town."
Sims says the wind farms probably saved their ranch. He does note there is a problem with transmission lines. He says they impact property value, and landowners don't get reimbursed properly. Sims says the state and wind development companies need to find a solution.
"Some yearly payments or something, because part of what is polarizing ranchers and landowners is that my neighbor has wind farms and he's getting paid long term and I'm getting a power line and taking his power out of here."
Sims says if that problem was resolved, most ag producers would be on board with wind energy. Sims is appearing in national advertising as part of the National Power of Wind campaign.