Camas Prairie, Elmore County, Idaho

Tag Archives: transmission lines

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.

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


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

“Transmission Lines Would Run From the Southern Shore” …

What the Anderson Ranch Reservoir view might look like when the Cat Creek Energy project is finished.

Elmore County’s own engineering study said this of the Cat Creek Energy project:

“Very limited information on the electrical line from the powerhouse to the
substation is presented. Voltage and construction information are absent. We surmise this line (34kV?) would run from the southern shoreline of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, ascend to the canyon rim through open forest habitat and then cross mixed grass land and shrub steppe to the substation. The line has the potential to cause a number of impacts to wildlife which would need to be addressed.”

In 2016, the Elmore County Planning and Zoning Board said the the vast majority of the project was “Not Compatible” with the surrounding environment when they denied Cat Creek Energy the permits to build a large-scale energy project in our backcountry.

Who hasn’t fished, boated, camped or driven along Anderson Ranch Reservoir? I can’t imaging anyone in Elmore County that hasn’t been along the shores of our finest body of water. This is what Cat Creek Energy considers “compatible” with the surroundings?

Take Action

Call, write to and/or email your government representatives and tell them you are opposed to the entire Cat Creek Energy project.

or, be bold and write a letter to:

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

List of addresses:

Reference: Attachment 2 found at Attachment 2 - Independent Review of the Cat Creek Energy Wildlife Management Plan

The Future of Camas Prairie With/Without 500-Foot Tall Wind Turbines

This peak is just west of the Pine-Featherville Road on Camas Prairie.

The corporation that is planning to build out the Cat Creek Energy project has indicated they want to use the largest land-based wind turbines for their wind farm on Camas Prairie in Elmore County. Those wind tower would be 500-feet tall or just a big as the Seattle Space Needle or a 50 story tall building. Crazy, right?

There have been studies done that prove wind towers built in a scenic corridor will drive tourist away. Let’s face it, Elmore County’s beautiful backcountry could be a prime time tourist mecca and we believe tourism would be a job and economic force multiplier in the coming years if left undisturbed.

“Spanning 3,750 acres along Highway 20 and the Pine-Featherville Road, this energy project will threaten tourism efforts, stifling growth in local jobs and tax revenues.”

International tourism expert Roger Brooks was hired by the Mountain Home City Council and the county commissioners to evaluate tourism possibilities within Elmore County. Mr. Brooks said the corridor from Mountain Home to our mountain community of Pine, Idaho was one of the best drives in Idaho and it should be advertised as such.

Current view of Camas Prairie from just above the Pine-Featherville Road.

Putting it another way, Washington’s Tourism Office wants to promote natural wonders, hiking, and outdoor recreation opportunities throughout their state. However, they went on to say tourism assets become liabilities when energy developments dominate the landscape. This is the type of thinking our local leaders need to be listening to before allowing Cat Creek Energy, LLC to drive a spike into the economic heart of Elmore County.


Stop the Cat Creek Energy Project (CCE) – Spread the Word

On October 20 & 21, 2018, we set up an information booth and spent the day at Carl Miller Park in Mountain Home, Idaho talking to the people who attended the 5th Annual Mountain Home Highland Games & World Fair.

Our goal was simple … Raise awareness about the Cat Creek Energy Project and how bad the project is for the residents of Elmore County.

The Cat Creek Energy Project is bad for Elmore County

What We Discovered – Many Locals Were Unaware of the CCE Project

A vast majority of the people who stopped by our booth were unaware that a corporation based in Gooding County wants to build a mega-energy project in our mountains just 21 miles from Mountain Home.

While we did talk with a few individuals who were from out-of-state, most of those who were interested in learning more about the ill-conceived project were from the Mountain Home area and knew nothing about the CCE Project. This means we have more work to do.

Video Highlighting Why Cat Creek is Bad for Elmore County

By The Numbers:

Booth Statistics – Number of Adults Interested in the Cat Creek Energy Project (CCE)

  • # of people who talked to us at the booth about the CCE Project: 104
  • # Opposed or Strongly Opposed to the CCE Project: 81
  • # who neither support nor oppose the CCE Project: 18
  • # who support the CCE Project: 5

Please help us stop the Cat Creek Energy Project. How? You can share a link to this website with your friends, co-workers, and neighbors, “like” our Facebook Page (@SBarRanch) and write to your federal, state and local government leaders. Tell them you are opposed to the entire project.

Get More Info at the Mountain Home Highland Games

Stop by and learn why we oppose the Cat Creek Energy Project

Help Stop the Cat Creek Energy Project

We’ll be at the Mountain Home Highland Games on Oct 20 & 21, 2018 to help answer questions about why we oppose the Cat Creek Energy project.

When: Oct 20 & 21, 2018

Where: Mountain Home’s Carl Miller Park

Address: 350 N 10th E St, Mountain Home, ID 83647

Map Link:

Time: 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Please stop by our booth, sign our petition, watch a video, learn about this ill-conceived project and maybe throw a few Frisbees around.

More About the Highland Games: