Rulemaking -- again?
Protect Our Special Places
Time to protect our Scenic, Protected, and Recreation Areas from poor siting of energy development. We have been reporting in our past newsletters about various rulemaking activities which are intertwined with the B2H, such as wildfire, land condemnation, and this one: Protective, Scenic and Recreation areas.
Recently, member group, Greater Hells Canyon Council (GHCC) and other conservation organizations, have joined our efforts. We've been dissecting the draft amendments for these new rules to assure strong protections. We will be sending an Action Alert soon, with talking points and links for your comments. Please keep an eye out for that Alert! July 21st is the deadline for comments! Don't miss it!
In the meantime... a blog post to explain what's at stake, from Brian Kelly, GHCC's Restoration Director:
Protecting Wild Lands and Habitats From Energy Development
The mountains and canyons of the Greater Hells Canyon region contain some of the best wildlife habitat in Oregon. Unfortunately, these important wild lands are at risk as potential locations for energy development.
For example, here at GHCC we’re continuing to work with our friends at Stop B2H to prevent the Boardman to Hemingway (B2H) electric transmission line. This high-voltage powerline would clear cut forests, disrupt critical deer and elk winter range habitat, cut roads through roadless lands, introduce invasive weeds, and increase wildfire risks near communities. It would create a 300 mile long disruption of habitat connectivity across northeast Oregon.
Looking at the big picture in Oregon, when developers propose an energy project such as B2H, their application must be reviewed by Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC). Oregon’s EFSC is required to follow specific rules when reviewing an application for an energy development for a project such as B2H.
Oregon is currently updating these rules for Protected Areas, Scenic Resources, and Recreation Standards. This is important because these new rules will determine the future levels of protection (or lack of protection) for these important values.
GHCC is engaging with EFSC to advocate for important protections to be included in the new rules. It’s essential that the new rules protect the integrity of wild and open spaces and connected habitats that are so important for wildlife. We’re very grateful for the significant efforts of our allies at Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Stop B2H, and numerous other volunteers and organizations all working to protect these values.
EFSC will accept public comments on the rulemaking until July 21. We plan to send out an action alert in July with updates and specific information about how you can participate in the process. Right now, we’d just like to let you know about the rulemaking process and the opportunity to weigh in on the process in July.
More information about the rule making can be found on the EFSC website State of Oregon: GET INVOLVED - Energy Facility Siting Council Rulemaking.