I am opposed to the Cat Creek Energy, LLC (CCE) alternate energy project. I have talked to many local residents and land owners of Elmore County and a few things have become clear to me.
# 1. The planned wind farm and solar project off Highway 20 that CCE wants to construct on Camas Prairie near the Cat Creek Summit scenic viewpoint will adversely affect all land owners, future tourism and land values in Elmore County, the Camas Prairie, the Little Camas Prairie, the Anderson Ranch Reservoir area towns of Pine and Featherville.
#2. Many residents in Elmore County have no idea that CCE plans to build a new reservoir near Anderson Ranch Reservoir, a huge solar farm, and a wind farm with over thirty 50-story tall (500 feet high) wind turbines on Camas Prairie. In 2016, when the plans were being reviewed by the Elmore County Planning and Zoning Board, CCE repeatedly stated that all five conditional use permits (CUPs) needed to be approved or their project would not be financially viable. County P & Z unanimously denied all five of the CUPs.
#3. In 2017 and 2018, the Elmore County Commissioners overruled the county P & Z board and approved all five CUPs. Recently, the commissioners decided that the CUPs could be separated, allowing CCE to construct any portion of the project it desired. Again, this is not how the project was proposed by CCE, how the project was presented to the public, nor what the commissioners approved in 2017.
#4. After many discussions with Elmore County residents, they confided in me that they didn’t put up much of an argument about this large scale energy project in our backyard because they were sure the state and federal agencies would never approve the project as proposed by CCE.
For example, the planned 100,000 acre-foot reservoir alone will meet with many water rights issues. The entire project as proposed by CCE also has many environmental and legal issues that will be very difficult to overcome.
If you believe like many others that the CCE project should never have been approved, please come to the scheduled 6 p.m., July 26, 2018, public hearing at the War Memorial Hall in Mountain Home to voice your opposition.
S Bar Ranch
Camas Prairie (Hill City)