On February 9, 2018, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) signed Order 3362 in an effort to protect and preserve wintering habitat and migration corridors in the western U.S for elk, deer, and pronghorn. Within that order is the Smoky Boise Complex area experts believe need special consideration and protection. That complex includes all of the Cat Creek Energy project footprint.
We have been saying for the past year that the proposed Cat Creek Energy project needs to be shut down. And we also have stated our concerns with the elk and deer migration corridor running directly through the landscape this mega-energy project in the backcountry of Elmore County would be built on.
Please take a close look at the map (https://catcreek-energy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Smoky-Boise-Complex.jpg) and you’ll see our elk, deer and a sizable number of pronghorns live, winter and migrate through this area. Cat Creek Energy has yet to address any of the problems associated with the 500-foot tall wind turbine complex, the 590 acres of fenced in solar panels nor the destruction of habitat that will come from a new 100,000 acre/foot reservoir.
Reference: Please download and review the 25-page document and do your own research. Direct download at https://catcreek-energy.com/download/975/
Here are a few things the DOI said in Order 3362
Energy Development is not Compatible With Big Game Species
Many wildlife species must migrate each year to survive as individuals and populations. Land uses such as residential and energy development, fences, roads, and large scale habitat changes due to wildfire or noxious/invasive weeds degrade winter range and disrupt migration routes that allow animals to move from one place to another. Such effects can not only reduce wildlife population growth but can also reduce the harvestable surplus of game species available for hunting, leading to decreases in hunting opportunity and hunters, resulting in an adverse impact to Idaho’s economy and cultural values.
DOI Tells Fish & Game to Protect Migration Pathways
Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and other partners are now only beginning to understand the full scope of how and where movement and migration help sustain native wildlife. It is important for IDFG and stakeholders to manage and conserve the wildlife, their important migration and movement pathways, and associated seasonal habitats such as winter range.
The Complex Identity
Smoky Boise Complex – Winter Range – N of I84 Boise to Mountain Home and US 20 Cat Creek Summit to Hill City
Why this Area was selected: Safety due to wildlife-vehicle collisions. Largest mule deer herd in the state. The area provides and important south aspect winter range for elk and mule deer in the Bennett Mountains and north of I84. It includes summer range in the Upper Boise River – Smokey Area areas and migration areas across US 20.
Habitat types: Primarily sagebrush steppe in the Owyhee Uplands ecological section. Important stopover areas within the corridor: Winter range of south facing Danskin Mountains and foothills to the north of I84. Upper Camas Prairie and the lower Solider Mountains
What Can You Do?
We’ve asked you to contact all three of the Elmore County Commissioners for the past year. It’s still imperative that these commissioners understand you are opposed to the entire Cat Creek Energy project. Use this link to contact the Board of County Commissioners at https://elmorecounty.org/contact/
We now ask that you contact the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to let them know:
The Cat Creek Energy project sits in the middle of a critical wildlife migration and wintering complex.
You are opposed to the Cat Creek Energy project.
The D F & G should also state their opposition to the Cat Creek Energy project unless they are looking to decrease the total number of elk and deer in Hunting Units 39, 43, 44 & 45.
- Southwest Region Phone: (208) 465-8465
- Magic Valley Region Phone: (208) 324-4359
- or see https://idfg.idaho.gov/contact
Thanks for your help in stopping the Cat Creek Energy project.