Seven Idaho Counties Sign Resolution to Stop Lava Ridge Wind Project in Southern IdahoBy Sarah Clendenon • April 11, 2023
A new “wind farm” has been proposed to be built on federal land across several southern Idaho counties. Magic Valley Energy, under parent company LS Power, is working in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the US Department of the Interior. The BLM webpage describes the project:
“Magic Valley Energy (MVE) is seeking authorization to use BLM-managed public lands in southern Idaho to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission the Lava Ridge Wind Project (the project). The project as proposed would consist of up to 400 wind turbines and associated infrastructure, including new and improved roads, powerlines for collection and transmission of electricity, substations, operation and maintenance facilities, and a battery storage facility. The project’s 500-kilovolt generation intertie transmission line would interconnect at Idaho Power Company’s existing Midpoint Substation or at a new substation within the right-of-way corridor of the northern portion of the Southwest Intertie Project. The project’s estimated generation capacity is 1,000 megawatts or more. The project area spans 197,474 acres and all project components would be sited within a series of corridors. These corridors are approximately one-half mile wide and cover approximately 84,385 acres, of which 75,760 acres are located on public lands managed by BLM, 2,910 acres are on state lands managed by the Idaho Department of Lands, 5,417 acres are on private lands, and 288 acres are on lands managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. All wind turbines, powerlines, and associated infrastructure would be located on lands managed by BLM and Idaho Department of Lands. Bureau of Reclamation and private lands would include the use of existing public access roads, but no other project-related infrastructure. The project infrastructure proposed within the corridors is estimated to have a 2,374-acre footprint and a total disturbance area of 9,114 acres.”
This map shows the proposed area of impact across Twin Falls County, Jerome County, Minidoka County, Lincoln County, and Cassia County, Idaho.
What is the reason for this project? From the Bureau of Land Management’s Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement,
“Purpose and Need for the Proposed Action
In Executive Order 14008, President Biden emphasized the need for the United States to “deploy the full capacity of its agencies to combat the climate crisis” in an approach that focuses attention on “innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.” The Department of the Interior (DOI) has prioritized “identifying steps to accelerate responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters.”Advertisement
Magic Valley Energy’s, LLC (MVE) goal for Lava Ridge is to construct and operate a commercial-scale wind energy facility that reliably and economically produces wind energy for delivery to power markets in the western United States. This goal arises from regulatory, utility, and consumer-driven objectives to incorporate new renewable and carbon-free energy sources into energy supply portfolios. Substantial increases in new renewable energy are required to meet this need.”
A group called Friends of Minidoka explains some of their objections to the proposed project on their website:
Lava Ridge one pager_2_3_final
“Wind Turbines Would Dishonor Sacred GroundAdvertisement
In 2009, LS Power, a New York private equity company, tried to build a powerline over Minidoka. Thankfully, the Department of the Interior moved LS Power’s Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP) power line away from the park. Today, LS Power seeks approval from the Bureau of Land Management to build the giant Lava Ridge wind project on federal land within two miles of the park’s visitor center.
• The project would impair Minidoka’s fundamental resources and values as a place to learn about the incarceration story.
• LS Power’s project would dishonor Japanese Americans and Alaska Natives who were wrongly incarcerated and who served in the military during WWII.
• Minidoka is a sacred place for commemoration and healing. Survivors and their descendants make pilgrimages to heal the deep emotional trauma dating back to the 1940s.
• Minidoka tells stories of courage and sacrifice to current and future generations and helps ensure this does not happen again.
• Eighty years after Executive Order 9066, Minidoka can help the public understand that racial prejudice, hate and violence directed against the AAPI community are not new.”
The group created this infographic to illustrate the size and scale of the proposed turbines across thousands of acres.
All BLM documents related to this project can be viewed here, with links for public participation and comments: EplanningUi (blm.gov)
On April 6, 2023, Commissioners from the five directly affected counties plus two more came together to sign a joint resolution to try to stop the proposed Lava Ridge wind farm project. The counties represented were Twin Falls, Jerome, Gooding, Lincoln, Minidoka, Cassia, and Washington. Stop Lava Ridge, Joint Multi-County Resolution Signing, April 6, 2023 (rumble.com)
After the resolution signing, David with the Idaho Dispatch spoke to Eric Parker about the proposed project: Eric Parker Discusses the Proposed Lava Ridge Project (rumble.com)
Idaho GOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon wrote about the project here: Op-Ed: Don’t Let the Feds Make Idaho a Vassal of California – Idaho Dispatch
A rally is planned for this evening at the Twin Falls City Hall Plaza
Article Feature Photo courtesy of Exxon Mobil.
Tags: BLM, Bureau of Land Management, Cassia County, Department of the Interior, Energy, Federal Land, Idaho Land, Jerome County, Joe Biden, Lincoln County, Minidoka County, Renewable Energy, Twin Falls County, Wind Farm, Wind power, Wind Turbine
21 thoughts on “Seven Idaho Counties Sign Resolution to Stop Lava Ridge Wind Project in Southern Idaho”
Idaho should fire the BLM and take over management of the land that legally belongs to Idaho not the Federal government. This project is an attempt to steal the land and the ground water.
Our federal government is getting too big and the over-reach is ridiculous. If the states don’t take back some control over our natural resources, we are toast.
Idahoans, stand up!
Good! Wind and solar are non-starters. Look good on paper, need fossil fuels to actually do their work, and are devastating to wildlife and environments. I get it, so are fossil fuels, but we run on those and that’s just the facts. People in denial of those facts are the problem. If we are approaching or have approached peak oil, we need other options besides pie-in-the-sky like wind and solar.
We will need to live simpler, and I personally have no problem with that. Lots of people think we can continue the fossil fuel party forever, and that’s just not realistic. In any case, there are other methods of fuel out there (NOT lithium batteries – my God, they explode!) and those should be explored. Why solar and wind seem to be the only alternatives – as limited as they are – is beyond me. Well, I suppose it’s just part of the B.S. that is sold to the public after first selling the panic of Climate Change.
Ask yourself if Climate Change were really a threat, why are the rich people pushing the Green New Deal flying around in private jets when they could zoom? Why is not military waste, environmental destruction, microplastics (which we could stop instantly) and other forms of environmental harm and waste ever mentioned? I think it’s obvious. The Green New Deal’s end goal is to cause Climate Change “lockdowns” where you and I are now personally responsible for the “health” of the planet. It’s a real thing, just look at the World Economic Forum’s website. These people mean business.
One of the reasons I live in and LOVE Idaho is that it hasn’t yet succumbed entirely to these globalist nutjobs. I hope that this continues. Thank you to all rejecting the Green New Deal bollocks.
Shut this nonsense up there are no such thing as fossil fuels
Good for you, Greg. People need to wake up to ALL the lies.
Where does oil come from?
Ask Texas and Calif how wind farms and alternative energy is working out for them.. People froze to death in TX and Calif doesn’t have the power to run A/C.. The green shit does not work… Thats your nonsense..
Another rigged (pre-planned) EIS on the way. Fact is that many “bird blenders” will have an effect on the wildlife that can’t be adequately modelled. That in addition to the many other wind power fallacies that abound in the government narrative. Time for the federal lands to revert to state ownership.
Didn’t AOC just say that “Biden should ‘ignore’ how the courts just ruled” on another matter. I say we as Idahoans do the same thing. Where is this energy going…California? Why then scar our lands forever? I agree, Stand Up, this IS our state, not California’s.
Exactly. It’s called NULLIFICATION, and the left has been doing it for generations. The right attempts to get laws passed, repeal others, do battle in the courts to enforce constitutionality, etc. And then in the rare cases where we actually win, the left just says “screw it” and ignores the ruling… and no one stops them. That’s called a lawless society. So be it. If you can’t force them to adhere to the laws, then it’s time the right recognized you can’t win a game on the field when the opponent simply runs outside the sidelines.
Happy to hear seven counties reject this project. To the article author, respectfully, your very first sentence had my dander up. Your reference to the proposed project being on federal land is a misstatement. BLM does not own any land, their role is to manage our land, public land. In the western US is public land that were set aside for the purposes of mineral exploration and production (mining), later petroleum was added to the definition of mineral resources. Then logging and grazing were added to the purpose of public land use, lastly recreation.
Public land use is the people’s (US Citizens) land to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management for the purpose of Mineral Extraction, Logging, Grazing, and Recreation. Period.
I Want to see the bond that is being put up by the company to reclaim all this public land in 20 to 30 years when the turbines are falling apart. The money to dismantle and bury (in California where all the power was sent) all the parts. The money to dig up the tens of thousands of tons of rebar and concrete for the bases of the towers. Why should Idaho have to pay to get rid off these isores? Look at all the broken down towers in CA littering the skyline in CA. If they do take them down, they send them to WY to bury because CA won’t allow them to be buried there. Why should we, or our children, be stuck with that baggage? Where is their reclamation plan and the funding? That’s what I want to see?
Your exactly right. It’s all glitz and glamour at the beginning, but 20 yrs down the road when things start going south, then it’s the state’s problem and the state’s money for repair/disposal. And no one ever talks about all those wind farms that are not up to expectations in generating the proposed energy. All that goes down the memory hole until the next big project.
This is the perfect time to let the blm know they are no longer in control of any Idaho lands and never had any authorization to take them. Whatever the reasoning may have been at the time, times have changed and we no longer respect the federal govt.
First, there is no climate emergency and secondly, there is no scientific proof that man made additions to CO2 are the sole cause of global temperature variation. Biden is just looking for another methodology to control the people of the US, as all leftists desire to do. Thirdly, these bird choppers are more than incidental takings under the endangered species act. Fourthly, they are a blight on the landscape and no one has figured out a way to decommission these monstrosities other than burying the turbine blades. Fifth, the declared energy production of these wind farms is too intermittent and inefficient to justify the detrimental aspects to the environment and people affected, and Sixth if these methods are so great, why can they not stand on their own economic two feet. Obviously, I am against the approval of this BS project.
So where’s Little in all this? He should be yelling “NO” from the top of the capitol dome. He’s bring ruination to his own state just to make a buck!
Maybe Little, Bedke, Micron and Simplot all went to China?
If the power is for California, build them there on government property.
No, to the Lava Ridge Project in Southern Idaho. I can’t believe we would ruin this area of it’s beauty for a project that can’t carry it’s own weight in producing electricity.
And this is why states need to start expelling the feds from their territory. Annex “Federal” lands and retake control over their sovereignty. A corrupt POS radical who steals his way into the White House partners with billionaires in New York to put windmill farms on Idaho land that the people of Idaho don’t want? The fact this is even a threat is a clear indication the system needs to be dealt with.
May the cows ever fart in their direction if they welcome these metal giants on our land.