Proposed wind turbine rows (blue bands) versus Minidoka Site (dark gray). Photos: Courtesy of Sakura Conservation Strategies and lavaridgewind.com.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Lava Ridge Wind Project was published in the Federal Register on January 20. Now it is in its 60-day public comment period.
In short, this is the latest challenge to the physical integrity of the Minidoka National Historic Site, Idaho. It is a classic fight between local interests (wind energy & jobs) and an American minority group. Japanese Americans hope to preserve as much as possible of the history of JA incarceration for the long-term benefit of the nation. It does not help JAs that they lack a substantive local presence.
The current project involves building fields of wind turbines across the footprint of the former Minidoka incarceration camp site where Seattle and Portland-area JAs were held. Estimates of the number of wind turbines that will be visible from the Minidoka visitor center range from 324 to 340. This will result in the loss of “the psychological and physical feelings of remoteness and isolation one experiences when visiting Minidoka NHS… the isolated and undeveloped setting was a defining characteristic of the… incarceration experience” (Wade Vagias, Superintendent, Minidoka NHS, Sept. 2021).
Share your concerns in writing with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) now. This is one of those situations where protesting later will not suffice.