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Big Transmission Plans to Power Through Southern WYO

February 10, 2010

CASPER, Wyo. - It's big, and it's headed for Wyoming. Planning is underway to determine the location for the Gateway West Transmission Line, a major electric power line that will run from Glenrock in east-central Wyoming and across Idaho over a mix of public and private lands. Early input from the public has already resulted in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) shifting some line locations to respect historic westward trails and sites in Wyoming.

Lesley Wischmann, a board member of the Alliance for Historic Wyoming, says they want to be sure folks pay attention to the project, so it doesn't catch them by surprise when construction equipment starts moving in.

"It is one of those things where people need to really get involved with it and look at it, and decide what are the values that they want to protect, and what matters most."

Wischmann says historic ranches may be affected under the latest proposals. She adds the line is an industrial addition to the landscape that is expected to grow over time.

"Once they get this transmission line through, that's going to start to become a transmission corridor."

The line is a joint project of Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power; construction is set to begin in 2014. In the meantime, the BLM is asking for public comments on its map of possible routes. View them online at www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY