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RICL easements are forever

May 2, 2014
Diane Darr/Ayrshire , Farm News

To the editor:

I am an affected landowner and also on the board of The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance.

For those who don't know, we are the nonprofit organization formed to oppose the transmission line proposed by Rock Island Clean Line, or RICL for short.

The intended 375-mile route through Iowa to take wind power from O'Brien County to Chicago and on east will need to get many parcels of land by eminent domain if it is to succeed with its plan.

As of now, to our estimation, they have less than 7 percent voluntary easements. What that says to me is this line is actively opposed by the landowners whose farmland through which it passes.

To me the question is what precedent do we want to set? Do we let a private company use eminent domain for most of a project through prime Iowa farmland?

Talking and writing to landowners and concerned citizens across the state tells me that it will come to that. A majority of folks who contact us do not want this line on their property regardless of payment.

They say they won't sign and it will have to be taken by condemnation.

Soon we are now going into spring planting. Everyone is busy and concerned with our farming and RICL is pushed to the back of our worries. However, their land agents will be out there trying to get the voluntary easements so important to their project.

Examine the easement when they come calling. Have an attorney look it over. Confer with family members. Better yet don't sign if you are against this line.

This isn't over. RICL has much to accomplish before or if, ever it's granted a franchise by the Iowa Utilities Board.

These easements are forever. There is no going back so think it over very carefully. PRIA is not opposed to wind energy. We are against this line for a multitude of reasons.

Our Iowa utilities are doing a fine job of developing wind energy. Iowans will get greater benefit from them than anything RICL has to offer.

Do your research and consider standing with PRIA to help stop RICL.

For information on the easements RICL offers go to www.calt.iastate.edu.

Roger McEowen and Kristine Tidgren, both of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation of Iowa State University, have a pod cast to issues to consider for your protection as landowners.

Diane Darr

Aryshire

 
 

 

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