Hoyt Wilson, owner of Mann Lake Ranch, found himself on the front page of The Sunday Oregonian this week. So did the wind energy projects planned for his ranch and other nearby private lands.
But there was an interesting story behind the story, too.
Early editions of The Sunday Oregonian, printed Saturday, had a picture of the high Steens, viewed from the east, with a huge headline that read: “Picture a hundred turbines here.” But no turbines would be visible in the picture or anywhere nearby.
“I got hold of a paper as early as I could on Saturday, and when I saw that, I immediately called The Oregonian,” said Chris Crowley, President of Columbia Energy Partners, the company developing the wind projects. “The headline and picture were completely false. Not one turbine would be visible in the picture they showed. As soon as I said that to the editor, you could hear her thinking, ‘Uh-oh,’ ” Crowley said.
By 3:30 p.m. Saturday The Oregonian agreed to change the picture and headline. The new version shows a much larger version of a photo of Hoyt Wilson with a headline that reads, “For Harney County, turbines on Steens is simple math.” The sub-headline reads: “Officials see a smart, green investment during the recession, but environmentalists want to keep the mountain pristine.”
Unfortunately, the early version of The Oregonian was put on trucks for delivery to Harney County, so anyone who has the paper delivered here saw the old version.
Harney County Judge Grasty was not happy. “To me this is just a bald-face lie. They took a picture of the high Steens and imposed a headline over it. This is wilderness, we couldn’t do it, and wouldn’t do it. That is nothing there’s ever been a conversation about. If there was, I’d vote against it. I’m aghast that The Oregonian would stoop this low.”
To see what the story looked like in the Portland area, go to:
To see simulations of what the projects will look like from places the public is likely to go, see: