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WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, U.S. Representatives Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, Governor Brad Little, and Lieutenant Governor Scott Bedke today, sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning calling out the administration’s failure to address widespread opposition of the Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project. The BLM’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) fails to address concerns regarding the Minidoka National Historic Site, grazing, wildlife response, Idaho 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 can be read here.

The Idaho leaders expressed these same concerns to the BLM’s Idaho State Director Karen Kelleher in February 2023.

Senator Risch led the Idaho delegation in introducing S. 3122, the Don’t DO IT Act, which would require the Secretary of the Interior deny any wind or solar energy project proposed on public land that is disapproved of by the State legislature. Idaho’s State legislature unanimously passed a resolution in March 2023 expressing opposition to the Lava Ridge Wind Energy Project in Southern Idaho, a 370-turbine project spanning 146,000 acres. Among other concerns, the proposed Lava Ridge project would visually compromise the Minidoka National Historic Site, a relocation site where more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated during World War Two.?