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Lava Ridge Wind Project V - Wildlife Federation and Pronghorn Migration

On the penultimate episode of the Lava Ridge series, Jessa talks with the Conservation Program Coordinator for the Wildlife Federation, Garrett Visser, who explains the concerns around Pronghorn migration patterns and sage-grouse habitat. He also expresses what he hopes to see for Idaho’s future in renewable energy, a future he hopes will bring renewable energy to Idaho while protecting Idaho’s beloved wildlife.

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.

Today, we learned about some of the consequences Pronghorn and sage-grouse may face if Lava Ridge in its proposed form may face. Garrett Visser talks through why these are concerning, and how the BLM might be able to mitigate the consequences while still bringing renewable energy to Idaho.

Further resources! 

Portneuf Resource Council’s new website:

Learn about Idaho’s Sage-Grouse:

Learn more about Idaho’s Pronghorn:

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:

BLM press release about the Resource Advisory Council:

An article from Magic, a local Twin Falls newspaper:

“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 proposed the project:

Read about ungulate migration and industrial energy development:

We recognize that any construction on migration land is disruptive, and we are not trying to promote one way or another for Lava Ridge, but instead express all the support and concerns that we have heard from those intimately involved in 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.