BOISE – A newly formed subcommittee of the Bureau of Land Management’s Boise District Resource Advisory Council will meet four times by mid-January to consider and seek resolution to siting issues for the Gateway West Power Project across a portion of southwest Idaho. The Gateway West project is a proposed high-voltage power line extending from Glenrock, Wyoming to the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho.
In a Record of Decision (ROD) issued November 14 this year, the BLM approved siting for all but two segments of the transmission corridor. The two remaining segments cross the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, and the BLM is seeking further analysis and input regarding the best route through that area. In seeking additional information and input, the BLM turned to the Boise District Resource Advisory Committee, which in turn established the subcommittee at its November 19 meeting.
The subcommittee will meet December 5 and December 17, 2013 and January 7 and 16, 2014. All meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. at the BLM Boise District Office, 3948 Development Avenue, Boise, Idaho 83705. The public is invited to attend and may present oral or written comments for consideration. Recommendations resulting from the group’s work will be presented to the BLM and the full RAC by February 28, 2014.
Gateway West is a joint project by Idaho Power Co. and Rocky Mountain Power and includes constructing and operating 230 and 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines across approximately 1,000 miles of southern Wyoming and Idaho. The line will cross about 500 miles of BLM-managed public land in Idaho and 200 miles in Wyoming.
In considering and evaluating siting options for Segments 8 and 9, direction is provided by Congress: “The purpose for which the conservation area is established, and shall be managed, are to provide for the conservation, protection, and enhancement of raptor populations and habitats and the natural and environmental resources and values associated therewith … “ area in order to comply with Congressional direction regarding the NCA
The Boise RAC is a 15-member advisory panel which provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on resource and land management issues for approximately four million acres of federal public lands within ten counties in southwestern Idaho. Members of the public are welcome to attend RAC meetings and field trips. The next full RAC meeting is scheduled for January 28, 2014, at the Boise District Office.
This forum provides an excellent opportunity for the public to ask questions of the citizen-based advisory council or to make comments that may assist Subcommittee members in formulating their recommendations to the RAC. Anyone interested in receiving an agenda or additional information about the meeting may contact BLM Boise District RAC Coordinator Marsha Buchanan at 208-384-3364.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.