Otter tells Salazar to send BLM officials to Boise to explain Gateway West decision

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to send officials to Idaho to explain how it made the decision to throw out consensus routes for the proposed Gateway West high power transmission line.

Otter wrote Salazar Oct. 10 asking him to send Bureau of Land Management acting director Mike Pool, BLM National Landscape Conservation Director Carl Rountree and other relevant officials to Boise “as soon as possible but no later than mid November.”

The preferred alternative tossed out routes through the Morley Nelson Birds of Prey Conservation Area south of Kuna, for routes north and south across private land. Kuna and Ada County already rejected the northern route. Owyhee County rejected the southern route before the consensus was reached that moved the route through the Birds of Prey area.

BLM officials said the decision was made because the law establishing the Birds of Prey area requires any major action to enhance raptor habitat. BLM officials said they could not support that.

What really rankles Otter is that the BLM initially released the Gateway West environmental impact statement without a preferred alternative over Idaho’s objection.

“Ultimately, BLM headquarters choose to disregard these collaborative efforts and selected preferred alternative routes that do not have the support of the state, local communities, or state and local staff,” Otter wrote. “In so doing, BLM headquarters ignored two years of collaborative effort and its own justification for not including a designated preferred alternative in the draft EIS.”

After these tough words Otter, who has developed a good personal relationship with Salazar, added a handwritten note and a ticket to the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise.

“Hope you get a chance to use it,” Otter wrote.

1350668868 Otter tells Salazar to send BLM officials to Boise to explain Gateway West decision Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

nice to see

this state-level support coming for Kuna.

It's ironic; when I talked to a BLM guy about this earlier this year, he said that the real problem with the lines was not hurting raptors, but hurting the sage grouse, because the raptors liked to use the transmission towers to hunt from.

Note that there's already a transmission line just like this through the Morley Nelson area. And this would be hugely intrusive on private lands; these aren't telephone poles but the giant structures.

Included Farm Land

There is the same sort of reaction to the BLM plan in Power and Cassia Counties. BLM tossed the long studied route, and chose to run the lines right up the Rockland Valley, and though other farm land in American Falls and Cassia County.

A visit to the World Center

I hope Mr. Salazar visits the World Center. He'll see why it's a lousy idea to put this ugly power line through that beautiful canyon. And he'll learn about the great work Morley Nelson did to protect these magnificent birds from electrocution, DDT, and other threats.

Dale Keys
Boise

Get some facts

Dale get a clue the transmission line doesn't create any more challenge than the current existing lines...if the the raptors use the towers routinely as perches in the desert. The BLM is acting like the typical inefficient bureaucratic bunch that botched the management plan on the FRANK until the facts were rubbed in their noses.

Headline sucks

As usual.

There is a difference between telling and asking someone.

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"Otter tells Salazar to"

"Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar"

Pimp,you are right but

Pimp,you are right but Rocky's headline tends to grab one's interest where one might not read Rocky's article otherwise.

Rocky probably didn't write the headline

Editors write headlines, not columnists.

It doesn't change the fact that Otter won't get play anyway.

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Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

Put It On Private Land

Leave the Public Land open.

Most of Idaho, IS public land, that's what I heard!

PS That's a lot of money paid for forfeitures, isn't it, and really not possible.

Rights are for where the line is at, not just the tower spots, no?

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Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

Don't REpublicans just hate it?

"BLM headquarters choose to disregard these collaborative efforts" Kind of like the ramrodding of the Luna bills, eh?