The Reinhardswald, located in the beautiful hilly region west of Göttingen in Germany, is widely recognized as the "treasure house of European forests." Some people also call it "Grimm's fairy tale forest" because of how enchanting it is – though not for too much longer.
According to reports, 2,000 hectares of what is considered to be one of the last undisturbed forests in the world are being destroyed to make way for a "green" energy monstrosity that will include the construction of large windmills.
The behemoth metal structures, which supposedly produce "clean" energy, will replace untold thousands of mature trees and other life-giving forage that have rested on that land untouched for millennia.
The State of Hesse government continues to ignore pleas from local citizens to leave the forest alone and build the power plant park elsewhere. Construction of access roads has already begun, and some of the trees are already being cleared, chopped up, concreted over, and eventually built on.
Sadly, if the forest was located just a few kilometers away in nearby North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, it would have been protected as a historical site worthy of protection, especially for its biodiversity. But not in Hesse.
"From the very beginning, this project in the Reinhardswald forest district was rammed through in a manner of an overlord against all protests from municipalities, groups, initiatives, associations and, in any case, over the heads of the people affected, as a prestige project of the Hessian state government," reports explain.
"For years, the project developers have been able to rely on the political and technical support from Wiesbaden – right up to the approval process. The Regional Council of Kassel, which is bound by directives, only needed to implement them."
Once completed, the wind turbine project will be the largest in Hesse with over 14 kilometers' worth of new and upgraded roads capable of carrying heavy loads. The local ecosystem, conversely, will become that much smaller as a result.
"The area is the largest contiguous forest area in Hessen in a virtually uninhabited, undisturbed and therefore in itself an extremely valuable natural area," reports further explain.
"Its beauty serves as a recreational area of outstanding importance in the midst of a landscape that is partly classified as cultural-historical and of the highest value. Even according to Hessian Environment Minister Priska Hinz (Greens), it is one of the most scenic regions in Germany."
The Reinhardswald was so untouched by industry up until now that the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation describes it as "Landscapes that appear close to nature without technical influences that must be preserved."
The advocacy group Action Alliance is calling the project "shockingly wrong" and an example of yet another politically motivated move by politicians who could not care less about anything but themselves and their interests.
"We are already announcing that we will document all events in the Reinhardswald and make them public, as well as all existing expert reports and expert authority statements," the group announced.
"In addition, we are already asking all supporters who take photographs and film to contact us so that we can coordinate the work if necessary. The clearing began immediately today as over one hundred-year-old beech trees have already fallen."
Various environmental groups and possibly even local municipalities have announced lawsuits that could still stop the worst of the damage from occurring. (Related: Germany would not be in an energy crisis had it left its nuclear industry intact.)
The latest news about "green" energy can be found at Climate.news.
Sources for this article include: