Camas Prairie, Elmore County, Idaho

Category Archives: Wildlife

Coming: Cat Creek Energy News in Abundance

Even the Idaho Department of Transportation knows there is a critical deer and elk migration corridor running right through the middle of the planned Cat Creek Energy project landscape.

Photo taken on Jan. 20, 2019 and geotagged at

In the past few months, a lot of news and information has surfaced about the ill-advised Cat Creek Energy project that is scheduled to be built just 20 miles northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho.

What Issues?

  • There are water issues to discuss.
  • There are wildlife issues to discuss.
  • There are political issues to discuss.
  • There are State of Idaho issues to discuss.
  • There are federal regulations and guidance to discuss.
  • There are Elmore County Commissioner issues to discuss.

In the coming days and weeks, these issues will be brought to light on this website and our S Bar Ranch Facebook Page.

Our hopes are that you will read what we have to say and then do your own research. We’re very confident you will find that the 5,750 acre Cat Creek Energy project will be a boondoggle for the residents of Elmore County and our emerging tourism industry.

EVENT: Cat Creek Energy Public Hearing for Amending the Development Agreement with Elmore County


What It’s About?

Can you attend the public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, December 14, 2018, at the Elmore County Courthouse regarding the Development Agreement between Cat Creek Energy and “the people”?

The Elmore County Commissioners will accept public testimony regarding the possibility of giving Cat Creek Energy full control of a new domestic water source from the South Fork of the Boise River and Anderson Ranch Reservoir.

We don’t believe handing a Gooding County-based corporation the authority, responsibility, and control over Elmore County’s domestic drinking water is a good idea.

Documentation Regarding This Public Hearing

Currently, there are three documents directly related to this December 14, 201,8 public hearing. You can and should download/read the following.

#1. The Public Hearing Notice: “Dec 14, 2018, Public Hearing Notice – Cat Creek Energy Development Agreement” that can be viewed or downloaded HERE Dec 14, 2018 Public Hearing Notice - Cat Creek Energy Development Agreement or at the direct link found at

#2. Option #1 (blue document) First Amendment to Development Agreement – 14 Dec 2018 Hearing: It can be viewed or downloaded HERE OPTION #1-First Amendment to Development Agreement - For the Dec. 14, 2018 Hearing or at the direct link found at

#3. Option #2 (orange document) First Amendment to Development Agreement – 14 Dec 2018 Hearing can be viewed or downloaded HERE OPTION #2-First Amendment to Development Agreement - For the Dec. 14, 2018 Hearing or at the direct link found at


When and Where

1:30 p.m. On Friday, December 14, 2018, at the Elmore County Courthouse in Mountain Home, Idaho.

Address: 150 South 4 East, Mountain Home, ID 83647

Map Link:


Take Action

We believe it is important the residents of Elmore County and anyone who loves our backcountry for it’s abundant recreational opportunities to tell the county commissioners you are opposed to the entire Cat Creek Energy project and you oppose the idea of allowing this corporation to control our future domestic water delivery system.

If you cannot attend this public hearing please call the two Elmore County Commissioners who will make the decision whether to allow the Cat Creek Energy project to move forward.

Commissioner Wes Wootan (208)599-3131

Commissioner Bud Corbus: (208) 599-1294

FYI: Commissioner Hofer has been recused from any decision making authority on the Cat Creek Energy project.

Anyone who wishes to testify, but is unable to attend the 1:30 p.m., Friday, December 14, 2018, hearing, may submit written testimony prior to the hearing by sending it to the:

Elmore County Land Use and Building Department
520 East 2nd South Street
Mountain Home, Idaho, 83647

An easy way to further help us is to share this post with your family, friends and co-workers.

Why Did Cat Creek Energy Decide to Unlink the Project Permits?

All five conditional use permits need to be approved to make the Cat Creek Energy project financially viable.” – Creek Creek Energy Spokesman in 2016

Throughout the permitting process, almost every Cat Creek Energy spokesman testified that all five parts of the project needed to be approved or they couldn’t move forward. The permitting process started in 2015 and ended in 2018.

What We Heard:

They’ll never get federal approval for the power lines in sage grouse territory or water rights for their proposed Cat Creek Reservoir.” – Many people who attended the 2016 and 2017 CUP approval hearings.


In 2018, after the Elmore County Commissioners surprisingly approved the five conditional use permits, Cat Creek Energy decided the project really might be financially viable with only a portion (huge wind farm or 590-acre solar plant) getting built out. It’s almost like Cat Creek Energy intended to pull the wool over our eyes while getting the county to approve their mega energy project.


Water Rights Problem

Cat Creek Energy has run into significant headwinds in obtaining water rights for their proposed reservoir on Little Camas Prairie. About 20 different private and governmental entities filed separate objections and protests to Cat Creek Energy’s water right permit application they filed with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR). Elmore County “was” one of those entities that objected to Cat Creek getting their hands on Anderson Ranch Reservoir water.

It’s Unacceptable

We find it suspicious that Cat Creek Energy LLC suddenly found financial viability in a piecemeal approach to their mega-energy complex after the commissioners approved the project and years of saying the CUPs needed to be linked.

We find it wholly unacceptable that Elmore County would allow the project to move forward knowing that the Gooding County-based corporation likely knew they’d never get federal approval for the “pump storage hydro” portion of the project and likely will never get the water rights from Anderson Ranch Reservoir either.

We expect the Elmore County Commissioners to postpone any further approvals of the Cat Creek Energy project until the conditional use permits are once again linked together.

Why? Many residents believed the project would never be able to move forward as a complete project and stopped testifying and paying attention. We’re still paying attention, however.

Reference: Elmore County, Idaho Conditional Use Permits for the Cat Creek Energy Project.

  • CUP-2015-03 / Transmission Lines
  • CUP-2015-04 / Pump Storage Hydro- Electrical Generating Facility
  • CUP-2015-05 / Solar – Electrical Generating Facility)
  • CUP-2015-06 / Wind – Electrical Generating Facility)
  • CUP-2015-07 / Electrical Substation


Take Action: Write a letter to the Elmore County Commissioners.

  • Tell them the Cat Creek Energy Project is bad for Elmore County’s big game herds.
  • Tell them Elmore County needs to control our own destiny when it comes to “domestic water issues.”
  • Tell them to relink all five Conditional Use Permits like was originally agreed upon.
  • Tell them our tourism industry will never get established with an industrialized energy complex in our wild and scenic backcountry.


Address your letter to:

Elmore County Land Use and Building Department
ATTN: Cat Creek Energy Project
520 East 2nd South Street
Mountain Home, Idaho, 83647


Did You Know: The Proposed Power Infrastructure for Cat Creek Reservoir

  • The proposed powerhouse would house twelve 60 MW ternary turbines.
  • The powerhouse would also house additional pump facilities which would utilize the same penstocks feeding the turbine/generators to lift the stored water 840 feet from Anderson Ranch Reservoir for storage in the new Cat Creek Reservoir on Little Camas Prairie.
  • The penstocks would be six 14-16 ft diameter steel pipelines each 2,500 feet long.

Reference: Cat-Creek-Energy-FERC-Application-Nov2018.pdf at … Cat Creek Energy FERC Application - Nov 2018 or at the direct link at

WHO’s Health Hazard Warning Prompts Demand for Immediate Wind Farm Moratorium

With Cat Creek Energy on the verge of getting final approval to build 39 wind turbines on Camas Prairie, the Elmore County Commissioners need to hear from you and all members of the public that you do not approve of this mega project in our backyard.

1. 320-foot tall wind turbines are the type located just east of Mountain Home, Idaho and along the I-84 corridor.
2. 500-foot tall, space needle sized turbines were mentioned by the Cat Creek Energy developers.
3. BUT … state-of-the-art 780-foot tall turbines could be built on Camas Prairie. We just don’t know and we should by now.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a health hazard warning for critical noise threshold problems created by wind farms. WHO “found wind power turbines have the potential to cause serious health problems – including hearing loss, tinnitus, high blood pressure and even heart problems.

This type of continuous noise and racket in the middle of an elk, mule deer, and pronghorn migration corridor will create problems for decades to come. The wildlife could easily be pushed closer to vehicle traffic on Highway 20 and the Pine-Featherville Road. Or the herds of these majestic animals may just decide to move eastward and avoid the huge new turbines completely.

Will the big game herds that have thrived on Camas Prairie and GMU 44-45 be pushed east into Units 48 and 52 by the Cat Creek Energy project?

Cat Creek Energy hasn’t specified the type and size of wind towers they would use on Camas Prairie, even at this late date into the planning stages. We know John Faulkner has indicated he would like to see the 500-foot tall wind towers built along the Highway 20 corridor and the Pine-Featherville Road.

However, in Southern Austrailia, a developer is trying to fit out a wind farm with newly developed 240 meters (780 feet) tall towers. The local resident are firmly against that project, in part because of the noise hazard but also the sheer size of those monsters.

Choice Your Poison

The Cat Creek Energy project is bad for the wildlife and residents of Elmore County. The wind farm will change the migration patterns of our big game herds. The proposed 100,000 acre-foot reservoir will be bad for the local sage grouse population, plus has the potential to damage the fishery and water quality in Anderson Ranch Reservoir. The 590-acre solar farm will also change the migration patterns for deer, elk, and pronghorn. The huge electrical transmission lines that will be built across most of the Highway 20 and Pine-Featherville corridor will ruin what international tourism experts call “one of the best drives in Idaho.

Cat Creek Energy wants to give Elmore County citizens a project full of figurative poison. You just need to tell our elected officials you want nothing to do with that toxic mess Cat Creek Energy Project will leave for you and your grandchildren.

Reference: View or download the article HERE … Wind Turbine Time-Out: WHO’s Health Hazard Warning Demand for Wind Farm Moratorium or at the direct link found at

Link to elected officials who will listen to your opposition to the Cat Creek Energy project