Giant wind farm planned for the top of sage grouse-rich plateau is dead-

A couple weeks ago we got word that the China Mountain wind farm project was in trouble when the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ordered two more years of study of it because the area was such important occupied sage grouse habitat. Now NV Energy and RES America Development have officially abandoned their 25,000 acre wind project that would have marred the Nevada/Idaho skyline for miles.  The project would have impacted 42% of the sage grouse habitat in the entire vast Jarbidge Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, according to the LasVegas Sun. For reference, NV Energy is the same bunch who put up the Spring Valley wind turbines  many believe will be highly destructive of birds and, especially bats, due to its proximity to the notable Rose Guano Cave. Fighting this wind farm pitted Idaho conservationists against some of the most powerful and grasping exploitative politicians in Idaho. Several state employees even lost their jobs for not supporting the project with sufficient enthusiasm. Western Watersheds Project ,  Advocates for the West, and the Idaho Conservation League were the primary Idaho groups opposing the project.  The ICL has commentary on the project’s demise.

The Wildlife News was written extensively about it in the past. Here are three previous articles.

China Mountain/Browns Bench Wind Hits 2-Year Stall

Imbalance in media reports on China Mountain wind farm delay

China Mountain/Browns Bench Wind controversy escalates

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

3 Responses to Good riddance to the China Mountain/Browns Bench wind farm!

  1. Ken Cole says:

    The 42% number is incorrect. However, the wind farm was proposed to be in an area critical for sage grouse and probably would have impacted 42% of the sage grouse habitat left in the Jarbidge Field Office of the BLM. [thanks, Ken. I fixed it. The Las Vegas Sun is incorrect. Ralph]

  2. Ralph Maughan says:

    Thanks. I’m not surprised. That’s why I attributed it to the Las Vegas Sun who wrote it.

  3. Dixie says:

    Glad to see it stopped. I hate seeing the nasty things clogging up the vistas and chopping up anything brave enough to fly near. We are getting them all over eastern Washington and I HATE it!!!!


April 2012


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey