It’s an area rich in natural beauty and it’s right in Eastern Idaho’s backyard. But some people aren’t seeing eye-to-eye about its future.
More than 20,000 acres of the Wolverine Canyon, east of Shelley, may be blanketed with more than 150 wind turbines.
This, after the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission approved the installation in a 4 to 3 vote nearly a month ago.
But this vision has one local man taking a stand against what he believes will destroy Mother Nature.
The wind turbine controversy is stirring up well-known Idaho Falls businessman, Frank Vandersloot, so much he took an ad out in the newspaper.
So, I took a ride in the sky and on the ground to see why he’s seeing red over what he calls a pristine green.
“It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” said Frank VanderSloot, owner of Melaleuca.
A hidden treasure tucked away in the hills lies the Wolverine Canyon which may someday be the home to more than 150 wind turbines.
Vandersloot calls this project outrageous…
“Once they start here in Wolverine Cayon, they can be erected any place that’s zoned agriculturally,” VanderSloot explained.
Bingham County Commissioner, Wayne Brower says, this area is zoned as a natural resource and agricultural land. And in a week, the commissioners will decide if the proposed wind turbines fit under that title.
In a paid newspaper advertisement, Vandersloot explains his position against the ‘green’ development and gives the e-mail addresses of the commissioners.
But Brower says, the hearing is over so soliciting comments to commissioners is absolutely illegal.
“It puts us in a really awkward situation and it is illegal,” said Wayne Brower, Commission Chairman.
Vandersloot says some things come with a price and some things are priceless.
“Come to Wolverine Canyon. Take a drive. You decide for yourself,” VanderSloot said.
The commissioners said, by law, they cannot read or respond to those e-mails. He said they’ve received about 75 so far.
Commissioner Brower said the public hearing is already closed for public comment.
The Bingham County Commissioners are set to make a decision at a public meeting on May 27 at 9:00 a.m. It will be held in Courtroom 2 at the Bingham County Courthouse in Blackfoot.
Reported by: Danielle Grant
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