The goal of the Community Portion of the spatial model was to convert local values and concerns about the impacts of transmission lines into maps that can be used to identify corridors and comment on routing options – recognizing unique local values such as: land ownership, hunting and fishing, agriculture, scenic views, residential density, recreation, and many others.
We captured as many perceived effects of transmission lines as possible, assigned a weighted relative importance to those effects using stakeholder input, and generated spatially explicit cost surfaces that describe the accumulation of the those stakeholder weighted effects within each 90 meter grid cell. At a glance, the community results indicated that:
- Local community values and place a heavy emphasis on defending private property, agricultural land uses, residential land uses, and collocating with existing major infrastructure.
- The “least impact” or “most suitable” corridor for the community map has a strong affinity for public land, while avoiding “NoGo” areas and attempting to collocate with existing infrastructure where possible. Since there is no contiguous patch of public land between Townsend MT and Jerome ID, there are portions of the corridor that occur on private land. In those instances, the corridor attempts to collocate with existing infrastructure and avoid agricultural and residential land-uses. As such, the resulting community map is comprised of approximately 70% public land, and 30% private land.
- The model tries to balance a tradeoff between distance and impacts to community values. The model assumes that the line will be built and attempts to find the best possible route; it will never make a judgment on whether the line should or should not be built.
For more information, contact:
Cameron Ellis, Sonoran Instituteat (406) 579 0703 or cellis(at)sonoraninstitute.org