Acquiring easements within the project’s final right of way is necessary for both public and private lands. Throughout project permitting process, Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power will work with landowners along the proposed project routes to discuss rights of way on private land in the authorized segments, which can be a lengthy process. The project will be built in phases with some local permitting and easement discussions with landowners taking place during the next three to four years on the initial sections of the project. Other phases of the project will not see those activities take place until a later date.
Landowners have the right to restrict access to the easements. However, the easement allows Rocky Mountain Power and/or Idaho Power employees to access the line as needed to operate and maintain the transmission line. The companies have easement restrictions to ensure that a safe distance from the transmission line is always observed.
Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power continue to work with individual landowners along the project route to obtain permission to conduct studies on their land. These studies help the companies better understand conditions along the various corridors, and helped inform the Bureau of Land Management's assessment of the alternatives for the environmental impact statement (EIS) analysis.
Please note that permission to enter private property for surveying and information gathering does not constitute a grant of future easement or that a transmission line will be constructed across the property. It is simply an allowance to conduct the studies. While the BLM has authorized a route for segments 1 through 7 and segment 10, the exact line route and right of way is not yet determined.
In December 2008, Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power hosted landowner meetings to help landowners better understand Gateway West. At the meetings, attendees received information about the project, reviewed maps, asked questions, and provided comments to be included in the draft EIS analysis. Following BLM’s decision to postpone authorization of segments 8 and 9, the companies met with landowners in these areas and submitted a revised application for a right of way grant for these segments.
The companies continue to meet with communities to learn more about their concerns and answer questions about the project.
Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power will work with landowners as much as possible in locating the facilities on the property to ensure the continued use of their land. The companies will also work with farmers to reduce impacts to agriculture.
The timing of construction will be coordinated with landowners as much as possible to minimize short-term impacts to agriculture. Over the long term, most agricultural activities can proceed with the transmission line in place.
Learn more about Idaho Power's fieldwork activities, which include getting out on the ground to review roads and terrain, cultural sites, wildlife habitat and more.