Camas Prairie, Elmore County, Idaho

Tag Archives: Media

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 https://goo.gl/maps/FS2sEdcDudM2

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.

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Mailing Addresses for Cat Creek Energy Issues

Contact Information for Cat Creek Energy Issues

Last updated on March 5, 2019

Idaho’s Senior Senator
U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
239 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202-224-6142


Idaho’s Freshman Senator
U.S. Senator James E. Risch
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202-224-2752


Idaho’s 1st Congressional District
Congressman Russ Fulcher
1520 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: 202-225-6611


Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District
Congressman Mike Simpson
2084 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: 202-225-5531


Idaho’s Governor
Governor Brad Little
State Capitol
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720

Phone: 208-334-2100


Idaho District 23 State Representatives

District 23 Senator:

(While in Session Contact Info)
Senator Bert Brackett
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0081

Phone: 208-332-1336
Email: bbrackett@senate.idaho.gov
Website: https://legislature.idaho.gov/legislators/membership/2018/id14/

 

(Not in Session Contact Info)
Senator Bert Brackett
48331 Three Creek Highway
Rogerson, Idaho 83302

Home Phone: 208-857-2217


District 23A Representative:

(While in Session Contact Info)
Representative Christy Zito
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0038

Phone: 208-332-1181
Email: czito@house.idaho.gov
Website: https://legislature.idaho.gov/legislators/membership/2017/id4281/

 

(Not in Session Contact Info)
Representative Christy Zito
8821 Old Highway 30
Hammett, Idaho 83627

Home Phone: 208-590-4633


District 23B Representative:

(While in Session Contact Info)
Representative Megan Blanksma
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0038

Phone: 208-332-1054
Email: mblanksma@house.idaho.gov
Website: https://legislature.idaho.gov/legislators/membership/2018/id4283/

 

(Not in Session Contact Info)
Representative Megan Blanksma
595 S. Thacker Road
Hammett, Idaho 83627

Home Phone: 208-366-7976
Campaign Website: https://meganblanksma.com/


General Correspondence to the BOCC:

BOCC
150 South 4th East
Mountain Home, ID 83647

Online Feedback and Correspondence

As of March 1, 2019, an online form was made available at:
https://elmorecounty.org/contact/

Commissioner Phone Numbers :

Bud Corbus – Phone: 208-587-2129 ext. 505 / Home Phone: 208-599-1294
Wes Wootan – Phone: 208-587-2129 ext. 505 / Home Phone: 208-599-3131
Al Hofer – Phone: 208-587-2129 ext. 505 / Home Phone: 208-599-1620

Communication During BOCC Meeting Involving Cat Creek Energy

Elmore County Commissioner (mail goes to P & Z for Cat Creek Energy issues)
Elmore County Land Use and Building Department
520 East 2nd South Street
Mountain Home, Idaho, 83647

Website: https://elmorecounty.org/

Possible Elmore County Email Addresses

NOTE: Kacey Ramsauer was the official POC for CCE issues in the recent past.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you ask that official enter the documents into the record and confirm this has been done by return email.


Others

Cat Creek Energy Corporate Offices

Cat Creek Energy LLC
398 S. 9th St., Ste 240
Boise, ID 853701

Mountain Home Mayor

City of Mountain Home
ATTN: Mayor Dick Sykes
160 South 3rd East Street
Mountain Home, ID 83647

Email: mayor@mountain-home.us

 

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S Bar Ranch Letter to Congressman Mike Simpson

This is what the road leading to the Cat Creek Summit Scenic Overlook would look like with wind turbines.

Chris Stephens, owner of the S Bar Ranch located on the western portion of Camas Prairie wrote to Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson and the rest of the Idaho Congressional Delegation explaining why the proposed Cat Creek Energy project is incompatible with the local environment and the wishes of many local residents and ranchers.

Please download and review this letter at …  S Bar Ranch Letter to Idaho's Congressman Mike Simpson

Here is a copy of the letter the S Bar Ranch mailed to Congressman Raul Labrador …  S Bar Ranch Letter to Idaho's Congressman Raul Labrador

To view the letter to Senator Crapo please click here … S Bar Ranch Letter to Idaho's Senator Mike Crapo

Here is a snippet from that letter:
I believe that this Project has not been fully vetted by the Federal and State agencies,
including but not limited to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the National
Environmental Protection Agency, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Idaho Public
Utility Commission, and the State of Idaho Department of Water Resources, who oversee our
Federal government’s and State’s critical wildlife, fish habitat, and environment. It is my
opinion, and the opinion of many other people that this Project should not proceed until all
parties fully understand what affect this Project will have on our land and the citizens of Elmore
County

We hope you will take the time to research why this mega-project, slated to be built in Elmore County, is not compatible with Idaho’s time-honored tradition of being good stewards of our land.  Once you do the research you may wish to write to your Idaho Congressional Delegation to ask them for help in delaying this project until all issues have been explained and satisfactorily negotiated.

Idaho Congressional Delegation and Mailing Addresses:

Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District
Congressman Mike Simpson
2084 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-5531

Idaho’s 1st Congressional District
Congressman Raul Labrador
1523 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202- 225-6611

Idaho’s Freshman Senator
U.S. Senator James E. Risch
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2752

Idaho’s Senior Senator
Senator Mike Crapo
239 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202- 224-6142

 

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Why Did The County P & Z Deny CCE, LLC Conditional Use Permits

An article from the Mountain Home News from Wednesday, July 27, 2016

County P&Z denies permits for alternative energy plan

Plans to build a large scale alternative energy project south of Anderson Ranch Reservoir remained in doubt after the county planning and zoning commission voted against recommending different aspects of the project during a meeting July 13.

At issue were five conditional use permits submitted by Cat Creek Energy LLC to build a combined pump storage hydroelectric, wind and solar energy facility that would be located south of Anderson Ranch Reservoir.

The initial permits were submitted in February 2015, but the county land use and building department didn’t consider the application “complete” until earlier this year.

The corporation’s plan is to generate enough energy for about 400,000 households within the Pacific Northwest and portions of the intermountain region. That energy could be routed over lines within the Bonneville Power Authority.

However, BPA officials stated at a public hearing in June that they are only in the initial stages of talks with Cat Creek on whether it will consider buying that energy. Local residents at that meeting were concerned that if the $1.5 billion project couldn’t sell the planned 550 megawatts of electrical power, the whole project might be abandoned, leaving the county to clean up afterward.

The five permits that Cat Creek Energy is asking the county to approve include construction of transmission lines, the hydro-electrical generating facility, a wind turbine electrical generating facility that would be widely spread across the project’s 23,000 of land and a 480-acre solar energy generating facility.

All those power generating facilities would be located in a less regulated agriculture area of the county. The exception is the pump storage hydroelectric facility, which would be located fully within a more restrictive county designated “area of critical concern.”

The CUP approval process moved forward during a meeting before the county planning and zoning commission June 15. At that hearing, commission members heard about three hours of public testimony from a host of Cat Creek officials and their consultants as well as a number of residents who opposed the project.

With the information gathered at that meeting, combined with more than 7,000 pages of documents already submitted, the planning and zoning department indicated they had enough information to discuss the issues and make a final decision on the five Cat Creek Energy CUPs at this month’s deliberation meeting.

During that meeting, the planning and zoning members were tasked with deciding if the energy project would comply with county ordinances plus provide their reasoning behind their decision.

With 12 different standards that had to be addressed for each CUP, the issues ranged widely, but the main issue the commission dealt with during the deliberations was deciding how harmoniously the project, if built out, would be with the current land use.

When asked if the project would meet county ordinances, comply with state and federal and be harmonious with current land use, the commission members unanimously voted that the project didn’t meet those conditions.

Offering his opinion, commission member Jeff Blanksma said the hydro facility was harmonious with the current land use because there are already two reservoirs in the immediate area. However, he added that the solar and wind turbines facilities would not be harmonious.

Commission member Dave Holland thought the solar power facility would be harmonious if Cat Creek Energy could build a hedge around the portion of the acreage that borders a nearby recreational vehicle park. However, he didn’t consider the wind power portion of the project as harmonious.

Meanwhile, commission member Edward Oppedyk said the proposed 914-acre reservoir would obviously change the entire landscape of the area. Later in the meeting, he indicated that the “change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

Commission member Sue Fish said the windmills would definitely negatively change the scenic beauty of the area. She also had concerns about the noise generated by pumping water up the 800-foot bluffs from Anderson Reservoir.

Commission member K.C. Duerig said the new reservoir would change the character of the immediate area, and both the solar and wind turbines would effect the visual beauty of the entire area.

Commission chairwoman Patti Osborn said the proposed reservoir and all the wind turbine towers would not be harmonious to the area. The second part of the process involved what each commission member thought Cat Creek Energy could do to mitigate the negative aspect of the project. Blanksma said there wasn’t anything the applicant could do to make the project fully harmonious with the current land use while Osborn said the location of the entire project probably makes it impossible to meet that requirement.

Duerig said Cat Creek should consider disguising the wind towers and placing them in locations where they would be less visible from people driving on Highway 20.

When the commission members were asked if the project would be hazardous or disturbing to neighbors, there were a wide variety of opinions voiced.

Duerig though that if the applicant planted hedges around the project, it would be harmless to any neighbors, including the nearby RV park. Osborn was quick to disagree with Duerig’s assessment.

Fish thought the solar project would be very disturbing to the RV park, but Holland said the harm to the park owner was just hearsay and never proven.

Oppedyk said the solar facility would disturb the RV park based strictly on the fact that the owner said it would be disturbing during testimony at the June 15 public meeting.


Originally posted on April 26, 2018

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