Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, July 08, 2013
Project threatens farms, ranches
An unknown number of unfortunate Idaho farm and ranch families are about to learn the meaning of the phrase "Step back and let the big dogs eat." Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power are preparing to create a right-of-way across southern Idaho to accommodate a massive power transmission corridor called Gateway West. We all need power and infrastructure upgrades are necessary. However, the proposed route of this 250-foot-wide, 990-mile-long project will come at a significant cost to many landowners. Over 700 miles of the project is slated to cross private land. In spite of the fact that 63 percent of Idaho is controlled by the federal government and ample amounts of that public land are available for this and projects like it, the utilities are planning on taking the path of least resistance -- in other words, private land. The cheapest, easiest, most efficient route provides the utility companies and their shareholders with the optimum return on their investment. It's much easier for the utility companies in the process of purchasing a right of way to insist on confidential negotiations with single landowners and bully them with the threat of eminent domain than it is to deal with the federal government and all its encumbrances, not the least of which is the Endangered Species Act...more
Another blessing of federal land. As more federal land is set aside as Wilderness, National Monuments, etc. this will repeat itself across the west.