Maintaining healthy wildlife populations and the economic, ecological, and recreation services they and their habitat provide requires considering the needs of wildlife along with the need for development. Our analysis provides a way to identify potential energy transmission corridors that avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats. Using the best available science and expertise, the model evaluates potential changes that a transmission line may bring to wildlife and habitat. Model results indicate corridors likely to have the least impact on wildlife include:
- Co-locating the MSTI line with existing infrastructure provides the best option for minimizing negative impacts to wildlife.
- Both public and private lands provide important wildlife habitat that should be considered when siting a transmission line. As such, the resulting wildlife map includes approximately 42% private land, and 58% public land.
- The Jefferson Valley alternative is considerably shorter than other alternatives, but appears to be more costly for wildlife. This alternative does not connect the Mill Creek substation, which leaves the possibility of future additional costs to wildlife if a connector line is built.
For more information, contact:
Brent Brock, Craighead Instituteat (406) 585-8705 or bbrock(at)craigheadresearch.org