Help Protect Wilderness-Eligible Lands in Utah’s West Desert!

Dec 19th, 2023 Written by Hanna Larsen

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public input on the proposed Cross-Tie Transmission Project, a 214-mile proposed transmission line between Nephi, Utah and Ely, Nevada. The line is being touted as a major step toward increasing renewable energy distribution across the Intermountain West.

SUWA supports the urgent and necessary transition to renewable energy, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of Utah’s wildest lands. Yet all of the routes being considered are expected to detrimentally impact wilderness-quality lands in the House Range of Utah’s West Desert—lands characterized by high mountain ranges, sagebrush flats, and incredible opportunities for solitude. Fortunately, there are common-sense adjustments to the proposed project that will protect these wild places.

Help protect wilderness-eligible lands in Utah’s West Desert!

Looking east over the Howell Peak and Notch Peak proposed wilderness areas.

Urge the BLM to select a modified version of the proposed action that:

  • Avoids the Notch Peak, Howell Peak, Notch View, Chalk Knolls, and Bullgrass Knoll areas (all proposed for wilderness designation in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act) by slightly rerouting the proposed line within the existing, designated utility corridor.

  • Requires that the transmission line structures visually blend in with the surrounding landscape by being constructed of self-weathering steel.

  • Avoids the proposed Bahsahwahbee National Monument in Spring Valley, Nevada, a place sacred to several Tribal Nations.

  • Conditions approval of the project on a guarantee and perpetual requirement that the line solely transport and distribute energy derived from renewable sources.

The BLM is accepting comments on the Cross-Tie Project through Tuesday, January 9, 2024. You can learn more about the Cross-Tie Transmission Project and SUWA’s work toward improving the project on our blog.

Thank you for helping us preserve the beauty and solitude of Utah’s West Desert.