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ID wind project stirs concerns for impact on national parks, wildlife  

Credit:  ID Wind Project Stirs Concerns for Impact on National Parks, Wildlife | Eric Tegethoff, Producer | Public News Service | Thursday, September 9, 2021 | www.publicnewsservice.org ~~

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – The public has an opportunity to weigh in on a large wind-energy project proposed in Idaho.

The Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project would be located about 25 miles northeast of Twin Falls and generate 1,000 megawatts of energy.

Ben Otto, energy associate for the Idaho Conservation League, said it would more than double the amount of wind energy currently generated in the state, but he pointed out the project could have local impacts.

One concern is for nearby national parks, including Craters of the Moon and the Minidoka National Historic Site, the location of a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans.

“This project would be visible from both of those locations,” Otto explained. “And, in fact, the Minidoka internment camp would be basically surrounded by this project. Those are big cultural impacts.”

The Idaho Conservation League is also concerned about the project’s impact on wildlife, such as birds of prey. Otto emphasized since the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) still is in the scoping phase, there is plenty of time for the agency to investigate and mitigate potential impacts.

The agency is holding a public meeting on the proposal online today at 6:00 p.m.

Otto also noted creating more renewable-energy sources and moving away from fossil fuels that harm the planet is important. He added the Idaho Conservation League wants to find a way to say yes to this project and respect local values at the same time.

“Adding wind displaces those fossil fuels and delivers a long-term benefit to our climate and public health,” Otto contended. “We’re really trying to find that balance between enabling the benefits of clean energy while addressing the impacts of specific projects.”

The BLM must receive public comments by Sep. 20.

Disclosure: The Idaho Conservation League contributes to [Public News Service’s] fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water.

Source:  ID Wind Project Stirs Concerns for Impact on National Parks, Wildlife | Eric Tegethoff, Producer | Public News Service | Thursday, September 9, 2021 | www.publicnewsservice.org

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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