From rock quarries to transmission corridors, much of Idaho’s BLM land has been developed for industrial commercial uses and is no longer pristine. Fortunately, there are still hidden canyons, wild rivers and pristine plateaus scattered across Idaho. They are home to bighorn sheep, sage grouse and countless other fish and wildlife species. These unique places are part of what makes Idaho the special place that it is.
The federal administration has identified some of our public lands in Idaho for renewable energy development and smart grid infrastructure as one of their top priorities. Renewable energy and the transmission line projects are being fast tracked through the permitting process and this is perceived of as the new gas and oil boom. While the conservation community supports these investments, there is concern that poorly-sited facilities and transmission lines will further fragment wildlife habitat. Idaho is currently facing a large number of these transmission projects which could severely degrade habitat for sage grouse, a BLM sensitive species.
EcoFlight is supporting Idaho Conservation League’s attempts to work with energy companies on avoiding sensitive habitat, minimizing adverse effects, and mitigating for unavoidable impacts on the appropriate scale by flying potentially problematic sections, to relocate them to previously disturbed areas and to help identify large areas for offsite mitigation where sage grouse habitat can be protected or restored.
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