Vermont Business Magazine Don and Shirley Nelson of Lowell today released a copy of the Settlement Stipulation entered into between the Nelsons and Green Mountain Power Corporation in April. The agreement resolves the GMP-Nelson litigation, which includes two payments, one of $50,000 and one of $1.25 million, to buy the Nelsons' land in Lowell. The Nelsons are opponents of the GMP wind farm on Lowell Mountain and said in a statement that they are planning to move from their multi-generation hillside farm in Lowell to a location removed from the wind turbine project.
The settlement, signed in Orleans Superior Court April 11, 2014, says in part: "The Parties agree that they will incur additional significant expenses and risk if they continue to litigate their tort claims against each other (nuisance, interference with contract, trespass, and infliction of emotional distress) and at present it remains uncertain how a court will resolve those claims... In order to avoid the cost, effort and uncertainties of further litigation, the Parties have agreed to enter into this Settlement Stipulation. This Stipulation represents a compromise to avoid further litigation. By entering this Settlement Stipulation, neither Party makes any admission concerning the strength or weakness of any of their claims."
The Nelsons said they remain fierce opponents of the destruction of Vermont’s ridge lines for the construction of wind towers and turbines. They said that they hope their litigation with GMP will, in some small way, serve as a deterrent and a discouragement to developers and utility companies who may be looking to buy up other Vermont ridge line property for the purpose of blasting away the mountaintop in order to install wind turbines.
The Nelsons thanked their many friends and supporters who stood by them during the multi-year litigation with Green Mountain Power, and they particularly thanked Annette Smith, Executive Director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, a nonprofit organization devoted to alternate energy approaches that do not destroy Vermont’s environment, culture and heritage.
The Nelsons said that Lowell Mountain served for generations as a wildlife area held in many private hands but open to the public for hunting, hiking, skiing and other sporting and recreational pursuits. The Nelsons thanked the other Lowell Mountain landowners who have, for many years, held onto their land and paid their taxes and allowed the land to be used by Vermont citizens while preserving the mountain environment and the mountain ecosystem that is so important to Vermont wildlife and the Vermont way of life.