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US Senators, congressmen, Idaho political leaders urge Biden admin to withhold Lava Ridge decision

Posted at 3:48 PM, Jun 18, 2024

WASHINGTON — Politicians from Idaho have made a firm stance against the Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project in a letter sent to Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning on June 18.

The BLM recently published a preferred alternative which shrinks the project by nearly half of its total turbines, but Idaho's politicians still have concerns about the project.

RELATED | Lava Ridge Project alternative shrinks project following public feedback

US Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, U.S. Representatives Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, Governor Brad Little, and Lieutenant Governor Scott Bedke are claiming that the BLM's recent enviromental impact statement on the project fails to address concerns regarding the Minidoka National Historic Site, grazing, wildlife response, Idaho's energy requirements, and more.

“BLM has yet to acknowledge the gravity of these concerns, or take meaningful steps to address them. Ignoring the voices of our constituents and attempting to downplay the severity of the issues they raise only serves to exacerbate the situation and erode trust in your agency’s decision-making process,” wrote the leaders. “. . . It is abundantly clear that the BLM needs to reconsider its approach to engaging with stakeholders in Idaho. Given the strong opposition from local and affected communities, we strongly encourage the BLM withhold issuing a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Lava Ridge Wind Project.”

The full letter from the political leaders is available to read here.

The letter follows action from Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador who recently filed an appeal to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to halt progress on the Lava Ridge development.

RELATED | Raúl Labrador files appeal to federal agency, complains about Lava Ridge Project

The BLM not made a statement on the project since presenting their preferred alternative in the final environmental review on June 6.