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Lava Ridge Wind Project III - The Bureau of Land Management’s Assessment Process

Lava Ridge’s Project Director from the Bureau of Land Management, Kasey Prestwich, walks Jessa through the thorough process of assessing a project proposal and preparing a draft environmental impact statement.

The Lava Ridge Wind Project is a proposed wind farm in Magic Valley, Idaho, near the Minidoka Internment Camp historical site. The proposed project would support the largest wind farm in the country. While there are definitely pros to a wind energy farm for Idaho, an energy-importing state that relies heavily on dirty energy (coal, fossil fuels…), there are also objections. Wind turbines can cause harm to airborne species. Specifically to Lava Ridge, the expanse of the project could disrespect the Minidoka historic site, whose desolate landscape is crucial for visitors to garner some awareness of what the camp used to be, and disrupt sage-grouse and Pronghorn habitat.

For episode three of the Lava Ridge series, Kasey Prestwich from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), gives an objective overview of the project. He talks through the detailed steps of preparing a DEIS under the NEPA process, and all the considerations that go into this process. These include proposing alternatives to Magic Valley Energy’s original project proposal, and countless hours of community outreach and input.

Further resources! 

Portneuf Resource Council’s new website:

Bureau of Land Management’s information on Lava Ridge (inducing the DEIS!):

A link directly to the PDF with the DEIS and the executive summary of the DEIS:

Idaho Conservation League discusses the pros and cons of Lava Ridge:

“What is Lava Ridge and Why is It Important?” An article written by the Friends of Minidoka:

Read about some of the arguments against Lava Ridge at Stop Lava Ridge Project:

Hear about the Lava Ridge Project directly from Magic Valley Energy, who has proposed the project:

For comments, topic suggestions, or more information, please reach out to Jessa at

Jessa is in her final year of her undergraduate career, pursuing three majors: English with Creative Writing, History, and Global Studies with an emphasis in French Language and Literature. She is a published author through ISU's Black Rock & Sage literary magazine and hopes to join the Sustainability Club at ISU. Her sustainability journey began with her year abroad when she interned for Letters to the Earth, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability. She hopes to work for Amnesty International until she can write books in the mountains full time.