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BPA Powerline Proposal threatens trails in SW Washington

Posted by Ryan Ojerio at Oct 05, 2010 11:00 AM |

A new high transmission line could spoil Silver Star Mountain's sweeping views and cut across several proposed non-motorized trails in the Western Yacolt Burn Forest.

Unless there is a strong outcry from non-motorized recreation advocates, construction of a new high power transmission corridor just west of Silver Star Mountain near Vancouver, WA seems likely.

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is considering options for a new 500 kilovolt high-transmission line that would add capacity and also redundancy to the region's power distribution system. Once completed, the transmission lines will connect substations in Troutdale, OR and Castle Rock, WA. Although the official comment period ended in December 2009, BPA has since altered route options including moving the line closer to Silver Star Mountain and is thus continuing to hear public input.

If line segment "O" is selected as the route, the 150 ft. high towers and clear-cut right-of-way will tarnish one of the most spectacular views in the area. The route would cross the the Chinook Trail, a recognized National Recreation Trail, in addition to crossing the Tarbell Trail and several proposed trails that are included in the newly approved Western Yacolt Burn Recreation Plan.

Two million people live within a 45 minute drive of the popular trails and campgrounds in the Yacolt Burn Forest that borders Silver Star Mountain.

A transmission corridor would permanently spoil the scenic quality of the area and invite the illegal dumping, ORV incursions and vandalism that are often attracted to such openings in the landscape.

Please add your voice to the growing chorus of conservation and recreation advocates calling for the protection of Silver Star Mountain and the Western Yacolt Burn Forest. Contact BPA and let them know that the construction of line segment "O" would permanently damage recreation opportunities for the communities of SW Washington and generations to come.

BPA I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project
PO Box 9250
Portland, OR 97207

You can also fax letters to 888-315-4503 or go online to where you can watch a video about the project, dowload maps and comment online.