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Lava Ridge Wind Project VI - Wrapping up with Magic Valley Energy

To round off the Lava Ridge Wind Project series, Jessa talks to Magic Valley Energy’s Senior Director of Project Development, Luke Papez, about the considerations that went into creating the original proposal. Luke answers some important questions, like why MVE decided on the proposed area for the project, where the energy from the wind farm will go, and how wildlife was factored into the original proposal.

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.

In the final episode of the Lava Ridge series, Luke Papez answers a lot of questions that have been raised throughout the series. Mainly – why this area of Southern Idaho, when there are so many cultural and environmental impacts? and where is the energy produced at Lava Ridge going to go?

Further resources! 

Portneuf Resource Council’s new website:

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

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:

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.