The Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office will conduct a field exam and two public scoping meetings for the Ewind Farm and ENEL (Padoma) wind monitoring project areas within the Black Lake, Adobe Valley, and Granite Mountain areas west of Benton.
BLM staff will discuss the proposals to install 200-foot-tall wind monitoring towers for three-year testing periods. Instruments on these towers would collect wind speed and direction data and other weather information. The companies have not submitted plans to develop wind energy projects.
The field exam will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at the intersection of U.S. 395 and Hwy 120. Participants may also link-up with the group at the Hwy 120 eastbound mile marker 24 at 8:45 a.m. Six monitoring tower sites will be visited. BLM will provide two 4×4 trucks capable of holding eight people for access to two of the sites. Some sites will have difficult walking conditions.
The BLM will conduct a public scoping meeting for these wind monitoring projects on Monday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lee Vining Community Center. Another public scoping meeting will be conducted on Tuesday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Benton Community Center near the junction of highways 6 and 120. The BLM will provide information and accept scoping comments on the two proposed wind energy right-of-way applications at these meetings.
Natural resource issues in the Ewind proposal include sage grouse habitat and potential visual impacts to the Granite Mountain Wilderness Area, the Mono Lake Scenic Area and private landowners. Resource concerns for the Padoma proposal involve a golden eagle nesting site and territory.
Written comments on issues to be addressed in the environmental assessments for these proposal s can be submitted to the BLM Bishop Field Office Manager, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100, Bishop, CA 93514 or by e-mail to Lawrence_Primosch@blm.gov. The comment period has been extended to July 30. For more information, contact Larry Primosch, Bishop Field Office, 760.872.5031.