Articles from Idaho
Supporters of a highly controversial wind farm project said Tuesday they believe they're being targeted and have now become victims of ruthless crimes over the summer. The Thompson family found nine cows -- the most they've ever seen -- shot and killed on their property. This after they got the green light to plant 66 wind turbines on about 5,000 acres of their private ranch just east of Shelley.
According to Sierra Pacific Power Co. spokesman Fay Anderson, there are several locations in Nevada being studied for wind-generated electricity projects, the farthest along outside of the Virginia Range project being in Elko County. There also are projects proposed for Lincoln, Clark and White Pine counties. ...
A group in southeastern Idaho has requested a judicial review of the Bingham County commissioners' approval of two wind farms. Natural Guardian Limited Partnership of Idaho Falls requested the review late last month because it said the production of energy is not in compliance with a county ordinance. The group also said there were inconsistencies within the county's planning and zoning decisions when it came to approving the wind farms.
I was disappointed and alarmed that Dave was demoted by the department in a purely political move. Dave and his staff came under heat when the Magic Valley office opposed Cove Springs in Blaine County because of its negative wildlife impacts. In fact, Dave's job was threatened then when the Cove developers complained to the governor and his Fish and Game supervisors. This summer, Dave spoke out about the wildlife impacts of a large proposed wind farm and that brought the hatchet down, despite his having worked on hundreds of projects which were successfully negotiated.
Last month, the Magic Valley's regional Fish and Game supervisor, David Parrish, spoke his mind about how a proposed wind farm might injure wildlife. Parrish got demoted and transferred to Fish and Game's headquarters in Boise. But the real victim is the political independence of Idaho's wildlife agency and its staffers. ...He ran afoul of three Republican lawmakers - Rep. Stephen Hartgen of Twin Falls, who worked as a consultant on the project; Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson, whose nephew owns land on which part of the wind farm could be built; and Assistant House Republican Leader Scott Bedke of Oakley -- who complained to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.
Fish and Game officials informed state employees on Aug. 4 that David Parrish of Jerome would no longer serve as regional supervisor for the area, which covers the eight counties in south-central Idaho. Parrish had been in the position for eight years. The decision came one month after the Times-News printed a letter Parrish wrote in response to an editorial endorsing the 185-turbine China Mountain wind farm project. After discussing the letter with Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, Idaho House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, contacted Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter with the concern that Parrish had violated the governor's office's media policy.
Some semblance of the Bush administration's notorious policy of silencing employees from speaking freely seems to have seeped into the personnel rules of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. One casualty of Otter's speak-no-evil speech restrictions is highly regarded, longtime state Fish and Game Regional Supervisor Dave Parrish, who was demoted and transferred from Twin Falls to Boise after writing a letter to the editor of the Twin Falls Times-News criticizing the impact on wildlife of a proposed wind-power generating farm in the Magic Valley.
David Parrish, who spent 16 years in the Magic Valley office of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, including the last eight as supervisor, has been demoted and transferred to Boise as the agency's fisheries program coordinator. ...Idaho House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, said she is concerned that the state's agencies are not given the opportunity to assess issues as experts. Rather, the rank-and-file uniformity mentioned in Warbis' e-mail indicates that the state's leading experts must now opine as politicians.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has demoted David Parrish as Magic Valley regional supervisor a month after he publicly criticized an estimated $500 million wind project south of Twin Falls. Parrish's comments prompted a high-ranking legislator to contact Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and express concern that Parrish had violated the governor's office's media policy. Fish and Game announced the demotion Monday to state employees - but did not do so publicly.
David Parrish, reassigned from Magic Valley regional supervisor to Boise as fisheries program coordinator, wrote in a letter to The Times-News on July 6 that the 185-turbine China Mountain wind farm "will have negative repercussions on Idaho's wildlife." "It's a no-brainer - the footprint of a project that will cover prime habitat (for) sage grouse, mule deer, antelope and other sagebrush dependent species," Parrish wrote.
Less than 24 hours after they unanimously approved a wind farm in Wolverine Canyon, Bingham County Commissioners gave the go-ahead for another wind farm to be built just three miles away. Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission denied a special use permit for Western Energy Corporation in May.
Construction of a 150-turbine wind farm on 20,000 acres along Wolverine Canyon has been approved by Bingham County commissioners. The unanimous vote Monday to approve the plan by Ridgeline Energy LLC disappointed opponents who say the 490-foot turbines will be a blight on the scenic southeastern Idaho canyon, a popular recreation area south of Idaho Falls. ...Frank VanderSloot, owner of Melaleuca Inc. and a landowner in the area, said opponents are evaluating their options, including legal action.
A local wind farm company hopes to get the green light to spin. Tuesday, Western Energy will appeal the Planning and Zoning Committee's decision that previously denied their special use permit. The company wants to build 66 turbines on about 5,000 acres in a private ranch just east of Shelley. ...Neighbors are seeing red over this spinning saga saying it will destroy the scenery. But Thompson argues it's his property and the view isn't a guarantee.
Bingham County has spent the past several months settling disputes about the proposed wind farm project in the Wolverine area. Today, the county commissioners discussed two appeals that had been received in regards to a recent decision. Both appeals were related to the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission's decision to give a special use permit for the windfarm. Both appeals were discussed in depth during today's public meeting and the county commission voted unanimously to deny the appeals.
Months of hearings, votes, re-votes and debate are finished in one wind energy company's bid to build wind turbines in Wolverine Canyon. Monday, Bingham County Commissioners approved Ridgeline Energy's application to put up a 150-turbine wind farm. They had been trying since November to get the approval.
The proposed Goshen South Wind Project that would place 150 wind turbines in the mountains east of Blackfoot will go back to the County Commissioners to finish an appeal of its special use permit following a decision by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday that member Larry Kohler’s vote in favor of the permit for the turbines can stand. ...Kohler, vacationing in Oregon with his family on a trip planned before Wednesday's meeting was scheduled, participated by phone, stating emphatically that he does not stand to gain financially from the project, had not been approached by the company as a potential lessor, nor discussed it with those who are. At the conclusion of the hearing, P&Z Commissioner Kent Banner made the motion to accept Kohler's statement. It was seconded by Gay Sorensen, and Hortense Nelson voted with them.
Last night's planning and zoning meeting lasted until 2:00 in the morning. It was a chance for anyone to come forward with a conflict of interest regarding planning and zoning board member Larry Kohler and his property in Wolverine Canyon, which sits adjacent to the area where Ridgeline Energy proposed to build 150 wind turbines. Planning and zoning officials tell us that no one came forward ...
The U.S. population is expected to grow by 45 million before 2026, and Idaho's population grew about 13 percent in the first sixth years of the century. In the past three years alone Idaho Power added over 40,000 new customers. That's all added up to the need for more generating capacity and transmission, and Keen said it's going to cost a bundle - about $300 million a year from now till 2010. ...recognizing that many renewable sources of energy don't produce power at a constant rate, Keen said new conventional resources must be sought out and expanded, including coal, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power. "Nuclear has to be a part of the solution long-run if we want to reduce our carbon footprint," he said.
The China Mountain Wind Farm, if constructed, may be positive for the local economy from a tax revenue standpoint, but it will have negative repercussions on Idaho's wildlife. It's a no-brainer - the footprint of a project that will cover prime habitat sage grouse, mule deer, antelope and other sagebrush dependent species. Impacts will extend well beyond the acreage of sagebrush that's removed to support the infrastructure for the massive project which includes around 70 miles of new and improved roads, up to 15 miles of new power line construction, substations, maintenance facilities and more.
A local energy company will have to decide whether to appeal a ruling after the Bingham County Planning and Zoning Committee rejects its plans for a wind farm. Western Energy of Firth proposed to build 66 turbines on a private ranch east of Shelley but a tied vote won't let that happen. The Planning and Zoning Committee tied the vote 4 to 4 which automatically means they had to deny the special use permit. So, Western Energy has 10 days from now to appeal that decision. And they said they sure will.