Letter: We need trees, not more solar panels

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 7, 2021

The power of one tree! Everyone loves the incredible beauty of fall colors.

Now is peak color for our precious trees. While we marvel at their super beauty, few of us realize the power of even one tree. They produce and clean the very air we breathe. One medium sized tree produces the oxygen for ten humans for one year. (USDA source) One acre of about 400 trees per acre cleans the air from 26,000 miles of automobile exhaust. (USDA source) We desperately need trees for clean oxygenated air.

A horrible solar factory along Highway 52 near Gold Hill that destroys forests over 574 acres is being debated by Rowan County commissioners on Nov. 15. This will decimate an estimated 229,600 trees. That’s fresh clean air for about 1 million to 2 million humans, and cleans up the CO2 emissions for about 995 automobiles per year driven about 15,000 miles each.

We haven’t even mentioned how vital the tree root systems are for soil stabilization, water shed and preventing flooding. Many of us believe that the ruination of these pristine forests will lead to catastrophic flooding in Gold Hill and the permanent loss of these powerful O2 producing, air cleaning trees.

We implore the Rowan County commissioners to please agree with the Rowan County Planning Board and simply vote “No” to this environmental disaster of over 334,000 solar panels destroying 229,600 precious colorful, life-giving trees. The Rowan County Planning Board did the right thing and voted “No” by 5-2 margin to this disaster.

Please contact your commissioners before it is too late.

— Ken Wiseman

Gold Hill