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May 16, 2008

Contact:
   Walt George, BLM Project Manager
   307-775-6116

BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed 
Transmission Line Project in Idaho and Wyoming

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is seeking public comment on the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will evaluate alternatives for a right-of-way to construct high-voltage power lines across portions of Wyoming and Idaho. Project proponents are Idaho Power Company, a division of IdaCorp, and Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp. The announcement was published in the Federal Register on May 16, 2008 and initiates a 45-day public scoping process.

The BLM and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) expect to host nine open-houses in both Idaho and Wyoming along the proposed corridor to provide the public an opportunity to review the proposal and project information, according to Walter George, Gateway West Project Manager for the BLM in Wyoming. Staff and project proponents will be available at each open-house to explain project details and gather information from interested individuals or groups. Through the scoping process, BLM and USFS expect to gather public input on resources and issues that should be addressed in the EIS; route alternatives that should be analyzed in detail in the EIS; and sources of information that may be used in the environmental analysis.

Open houses are planned on the following dates in the following communities. All meetings will be from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2008: Twin Falls, Idaho (Red Lion Canyon Springs Inn, 1357 Blue Lake Blvd. N.)
  • Tuesday, June 3, 2008: Murphy, Idaho (Owyhee County Museum, 17085 Basey St.)
  • Wednesday, June 4, 2008: Pocatello, Idaho (Pocatello City Hall, 911 N. 7th Ave.)
  • Wednesday, June 4, 2008: Boise, Idaho (Holiday Inn Boise Airport, 3300 Vista Ave.)
  • Thursday, June 5, 2008: Montpelier, Idaho (Bear Lake Senior High School, 330 Boise Ave.)
  • Monday, June 9, 2008: Casper, Wyo. (Ramada Plaza Riverside, 300 W. F St.)
  • Tuesday, June 10, 2008: Rawlins, Wyo. (The Jeffrey Center, 315 W. Pine St.) 
  • Wednesday, June 11, 2008: Rock Springs, Wyo. (BLM Field Office, 280 Highway 191 N.)
  • Thursday, June 12, 2008: Kemmerer, Wyo. (Kemmerer High School, 1525 3rd W. Ave.)

Comments can also be made to the BLM via the project Web site at www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west, via the project E-mail address (Gateway_West_WYMail@blm.gov) or in writing to Bureau of Land Management, Gateway West Project, P.O. Box 20879, Cheyenne, WY 82003. To be most useful, public comment should be received by July 3, 2008.

The BLM Wyoming State Office and the Caribou-Targhee and Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, will prepare the EIS and conduct public scoping meetings on the proposal to construct electric transmission lines from the proposed Windstar Substation near Glenrock, Wyo. to the proposed Hemingway substation near Melba, Idaho, approximately 20 miles southwest of Boise. The project, referred to as Gateway West, is composed of 11 transmission line segments with a total length of approximately 1,250 miles. A preliminary project map is located on the web site. Authorization of this proposal may result in the amendment of Forest Service and BLM land use plans.

BLM is the lead federal agency for the preparation of the EIS. Cooperating agencies identified at this time include: the USFS, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Wyoming, Cassia County, Idaho, Lincoln and Sweetwater Counties, Wyo. Other states and local governments will be invited to participate as cooperating agencies. 

To be added to the project mailing list, email Gateway_West_WYMail@blm.gov.

For further information, contact the Bureau of Land Management, Gateway West Project, P.O. Box 20879, Cheyenne, WY 82003.

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