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New 400 mile power line project has some property owners up in arms

PRICE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Rocky Mountain Power wants to build 400 miles of powers lines through Utah. Over the next 90 days, the company is holding meetings to get public opinion on the proposed plans. Tuesday residents and property owners in Argyle Canyon came out to learn more and express concern over the option preferred by the Bureau of Land Management.

PRICE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Rocky Mountain Power wants to build 400 miles of powers lines through Utah. Over the next 90 days, the company is holding meetings to get public opinion on the proposed plans. Tuesday residents and property owners in Argyle Canyon came out to learn more and express concern over the option preferred by the Bureau of Land Management.

 

“Pine trees and budding Aspen and a stream running through the middle of it.” That’s the way Steve Frisby remembers Argyle Canyon when his family built a cabin there some 40 years ago.

 

“Mom and Dad bought it for that intent, for the family to have a place to go get away from the hustle and bustle of the city,” said Frisby.

 

Now his grandkids enjoy the same getaway Frisby did as a child.

 

“Every time we get together it’s ‘when are we going to the cabin again grandpa?’”

 

Steve is one of hundreds of land owners and concerned residents who make up the Argyle Wilderness Protection Corporation.

 

Susie Peterson, secretary of the non-profit group made up of concerned property owners, told ABC 4 Utah, “There’s 400 of us that have land in Argyle Canyon; beautiful trees, mountains, we’ve got wildlife everywhere and all of us have cabins and property that we want to preserve.”

 

The group is hoping the Bureau of Land Management will end up on their side. Currently, the BLM’s preferred route for the Energy Gateway South Transmission Project goes right through the canyon. The entire power project will start in South Central Wyoming and end in Mona in Central Utah.

 

BLM National Project Manager Tamara Gertzsch explained, “I think we’re talking roughly 60% federal land here on the project and 40%...but there’s just no way to connect the project from one end to the other without affecting private lands.”

 

But there are a couple of options on the table. Rocky Mountain Power actually has a different preferred route than what the BLM has chosen.

 

Rocky Mountain Power Spokeswoman Margaret Older told ABC 4 Utah, “For the majority of the Gateway South Project the company’s alignment and the agency’s preferred alignment are the same. There is a point where those two routes diverge.”

 

They diverge right Argyle Canyon. The BLM couldn’t give me an exact reason for this, but one concerned resident had this theory.

 

Gordon Everett told ABC 4 Utah, “If you look at the maps for this they go across as much private property as what they can find. The simple reason is if they go over the little guy’s land who owns 10-15 acres they can just take the little guy’s ground.”

 

Both the BLM and Rocky Mountain Power say nothing is a done deal. They’re going to take public comment, study that against their research and come up with the best possible solution to fits everyone’s needs.

 

For more information on the Energy Gateway South Transmission Project log on to: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/hdd/gateway_south.html

 

And to submit public comment you can email: GatewaySouth_WYMail@blm.gov

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