Inherit the Wind

An Oregonian is looking to contribute to the energy - and economy - of the Pacific Northwest.

story by Matt Christenson
photo by

"What better place to put a wind project than public lands?"

With that single question, a local Oregonian has developed the first wind project to be built on BLM-administered land in the Pacific Northwest. Known as the Lime Wind Energy Project, this three-megawatt development is located in the abandoned community of Lime near Baker City, Oregon.

"Randy Joseph is a member of the public. Not a big company, corporation, or anything. He was just interested in green energy," says Courtney James of the BLM. "He made it a family project. He has two sons that he's trained. One of them does the actual maintenance on the tower."

The BLM continues to work with the Joseph family to analyze local bird and bat populations and keep a close eye over regional wildlife. The BLM has also ensured that the wind turbines do not impact the area's archaeological values. Further, the turbines are locally-owned and contribute to the community.

"Most of the money is kept here. It's a good addition to the economy around Baker County," said James who also explains how the wind project contributes to the BLM's multiple-use mission. "Anybody can come up here any time of day. There's still grazing. Hunters can come up here. There are no fences. It's not an exclusive use of the area."

Check out an online video interview with Courtney James from the Lime Wind Energy Project. From the video, you'll also find a link to additional photos from Lime Wind.