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Massive power lines in front of Rocky Mountain National Park?
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By responsiblelines
Jan 26, 2012
Longs

Original post here:

Hi all,

If you like climbing, hiking, and skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park or around Estes Park, your visit may be altered forever if the US Department of Energy's proposed re-route of an industrial-scale power line is approved. To oppose the re-route up scenic Highway 36 entering the Estes Valley, visit:

responsiblelines.org/takeaction

A division of the DOE, Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), is planning to rebuild aging power lines, but instead of routing them through the Forest Service's designated Utility Corridor, they are planning to re-route them (creating *another* massive clear-cut with 110' steel towers and a web of lines) up Highway 36 where most Americans get their first views of the majestic peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The comment period ends in just four short days: JANUARY 31st, 2012

Learn more at responsiblelines.org, a website put together by local residents of Estes Park that realized that WAPA planned the re-route to accommodate a single influential land-owner who currently owns most of the east end of Estes Park below Mount Olympus. They plan to re-route the original 1938 line out of the exclusively private valley, and instead right into the middle of the public's view.

There's a Take Action page where you can easily send a pre-drafted letter to all the relevant decision-makers, or even better, you can draft your own.

responsiblelines.org/takeaction


Thanks very much for your help. The views in Estes Park are worth defending. We hope you can visit without transmission towers blocking your view.

Cheers,
Chris Jones

What we may be in for.
What we may be in for.
www.responsiblelines.org/takeaction


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By Brian Bourquin
From Denver, CO
Jan 27, 2012

Power lines carry the electricity to your computer so you can make posts like this. Don't demonize the modern conveniences you enjoy. It is popular to claim lines are ugly but the overall impact is far less than underground lines.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Jan 27, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Don't these DOE people realize that appearances and tourism are key to the Estes Park area? Seems ill advised to relocate them if a corridor is already in place. Somebody's construction company maybe has a DOE friend?


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By Doug Lintz
From Kearney, NE
Jan 27, 2012
Destroyer of popcorn

Brian Bourquin wrote:
Power lines carry the electricity to your computer so you can make posts like this. Don't demonize the modern conveniences you enjoy. It is popular to claim lines are ugly but the overall impact is far less than underground lines.


Did you even read the post? They're talking about reusing the existing corridor instead of creating another (which may be for the convenience of one landowner).


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jan 27, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

Why isn't this stuff buried along the interstate highways ? We have the same issue in the NE where they want to build a big power line down through NH from Canada.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jan 27, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

Brian Bourquin wrote:
the overall impact is far less than underground lines.

How so?


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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jan 27, 2012

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Don't these DOE people realize that appearances and tourism are key to the Estes Park area? Seems ill advised to relocate them if a corridor is already in place. Somebody's construction company maybe has a DOE friend?


Not to mention the colossal waste of tax payer dollars to create another corridor, which will likely include condemnation of other private lands. Makes a ton of sense given the current state and federal governments' fiscal conditions.

Obviously, it's a money thing. If it's approved money comes in, justified by "job creation" just like all the other unnecessary projects and alleged jobs created by the stimulus packages...


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By responsiblelines
Jan 27, 2012
Longs

Hi all.

Below is a map to help illustrate the issue at hand. The red line on the map is the utility corridor designated by the USFS. The current Estes-Flatiron Transmission Line follows this USFS Designated Utility Corridor out of Estes Park, CO. Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) has a current proposal on the table to re-build the transmission line between Estes Park and Flatiron (see map). However, after what appears to be undue influence, they have changed their plans from a rebuild, and instead they now plan to re-route the original transmission line away from a single influential land-owner and into highly scenic public travel corridors, overlooks, residential areas, and trail head, campgrounds.

Just to clarify, this project is to bring power from the Estes hydro-power plant, out of Estes Park to Front Range communities like Denver (where Brian Bourquin lives). That being said, residents here, ourselves included, have shown great support for sending reliable power from Estes Park to places that need it, but we are opposing what promises to be a damaging re-route which will be at the tax-payer's expense and a great detriment to the landscape.

We are trying to get as many people as possible to write in and say, "WAPA, Use the route you have. Re-build the line, Don't re-route it up scenic highway 36 or through highly scenic trailheads and campgrounds in the National Forest where no utility corridor exists."

Take a look at the map and the website put together by local residents. Comment deadline is in just a few days. There's a comment page on the website, where you can send the comment there or delete it and write your own. Let's tell WAPA to use the route they have along the Designated Utility Corridor, get Brian some reliable power, and stay away from our scenic public areas, for the good of everyone.

Take Action here: www.responsiblelines.org/takeaction

One last thing, the private property owner we mentioned (APC Crocker Ranch LLC owned by the Pew family heirs) currently blocks access to Mount Olympus, Mount Pisgah, most of the public access to Roosevelt National Forest adjacent to the East end of Estes Park, and the once public "Loveland Road" that dates back to 1877. They apparently want the DOE out of their private valley too. So far, they're succeeding.

Someone on your site back in 2004 was quoted as saying, "The whole south face of Olympus is Crocker Ranch property and is off limits to climbers, period...unless you want an ass full of buckshot, don't even think about it."

See:www.mountainproject.com/v/mt-olympus/105745786

I hope this helps,


ARNF GIS Map. The red line depicts the USFS Designated Utility Corridor.  This is where the current line sits that they propose to re-route.  Why?
ARNF GIS Map. The red line depicts the USFS Designated Utility Corridor. This is where the current line sits that they propose to re-route. Why?


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By 419
From Denver
Jan 27, 2012
JR Token

Bump. Letter Sent.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jan 27, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

Good luck folks fighting it. The ranch owners sound like wicked A-holes. Hopefully they will all die in a small private plane accident or a drive their Hummer at high speed into a ditch soon.


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By jordan cocanower
From Estes Park, CO
Jan 28, 2012
A nice little alpine day

with the winds that have been goin through here recently those things won't last long hahahahaha


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By talkinrocks
From Boulder, CO
Jan 28, 2012
Washburns Thumb.  Denali

M Sprague wrote:
Good luck folks fighting it. The ranch owners sound like wicked A-holes. Hopefully they will all die in a small private plane accident or a drive their Hummer at high speed into a ditch soon.



Seriously? Who is the wicked A-Hole here? Are you seriously hoping that another human dies a tragic death on a climbing forum? I hope your post is in jest for your sake.

PS: I dont want the powerlines either.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jan 28, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

What do you think? You have heard of a little hyperbole, no? Truth be told, I do find nasty selfish people repulsive and don't find their eventual demise too saddening. I do find it sad that they are like that though.


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By Buff Johnson
Jan 28, 2012
smiley face

Not only that, but the planned location of the powerlines will be more favorable to invasion by hostile extra-terrestrials and asteroid collisions.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Jan 28, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Buff Johnson wrote:
Not only that, but the planned location of the powerlines will be more favorable to invasion by hostile extra-terrestrials and asteroid collisions.

Are you saying these lines will protect us against the upcoming alien invasion and asteroid destruction? Well now that's something to consider.


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By responsiblelines
Jan 28, 2012
Longs

Whether you don't want your tax dollars being wasted on a re-route to serve private interests, or you just don't want to see our scenic public lands littered with clear cuts and ten story steel towers, I think we can all agree that re-building the power lines out of the Estes Valley confined along areas already designated for this purpose by the USFS makes sense.

Western Area Power plans to unnecessarily re-route this industrial scale project up US Highway 36, past scenic overlooks, and across Roosevelt National Forest trails and campgrounds where no utility corridor exists.

We have 48 hours left in the comment period to convince them otherwise. Here's how you can help.

Take Action here: www.responsiblelines.org/takeaction

P.S. To the several folks from this group who wrote in yesterday, thanks for helping us have a say in preserving everybody's public lands! You're awesome!

110' steel towers will dwarf any tree in Estes Park.
110' steel towers will dwarf any tree in Estes Park.


Take Action here: www.responsiblelines.org/takeaction


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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jan 28, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.

sent


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By Derek Lawrence
From Bailey
Jan 28, 2012
Cocaine Corner

letter sent


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By responsiblelines
Jan 30, 2012
Longs

Hi all. Thanks for everyone who sent comments yesterday! The site was down all today, not sure why. But it's back up. So, if you tried to send a comment and couldn't, now you can.

The more people that speak up the better.

Take Action here: www.responsiblelines.org/takeaction

Help us protect the Estes Valley in front of Rocky Mountain National Park.  The utility corridor we're trying to get Western Area Power to use for the re-build already consolidates Power, Gas, and Water Lines, and it steers clear of the scenic byways, trailheads, and back country for the good of everyone.
Help us protect the Estes Valley in front of Rocky Mountain National Park. The utility corridor we're trying to get Western Area Power to use for the re-build already consolidates Power, Gas, and Water Lines, and it steers clear of the scenic byways, trailheads, and back country for the good of everyone.


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By slim
Administrator
Jan 30, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

M Sprague wrote:
Why isn't this stuff buried along the interstate highways ? We have the same issue in the NE where they want to build a big power line down through NH from Canada.


The primary difference is cost - it is much more expensive to put it underground, especially in mountainous terrain or areas where the ground cover has a lot of rock. i'm kind of surprised they aren't figuring out a way to add to the existing route - seems like it would be best all around.


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By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Jan 30, 2012
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow

Wow, I'm Mr-Sold-Out-to-the-Man and this makes even me angry.

Custom letter written and sent.


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By responsiblelines
Jan 30, 2012
Longs

Hi all.

Hopefully if enough of us speak up, Western Area Power Administration will listen and not waste our tax dollars bulldozing the Estes Valley.

Take Action Here: responsiblelines.org/takeaction

In a public meeting on December 13th, the caretaker for the "Crocker Ranch" (Pew APC Crocker Ranch LLC, see map) confirmed that the re-route was most preferable to the owners, and that Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) had already negotiated the project siting with them up to a year prior to the public knowing anything about it.

Clear-cuts along the existing utility corridor. Instead of siting the project here, WAPA proposes new clear-cuts through Roosevelt National Forest where no utility corridor exists. This re-route costs more, is longer, and is more damaging to the scenic travel corridors leading into the Estes Valley, RMNP, and Roosevelt National Forest.
Clear-cuts along the existing utility corridor. Instead of siting the project here, WAPA proposes new clear-cuts through Roosevelt National Forest where no utility corridor exists. This re-route costs more, is longer, and is more damaging to the scenic travel corridors leading into the Estes Valley, RMNP, and Roosevelt National Forest.


What's so egregious about this is that WAPA is a federal agency under the Department of Energy, re-building a federal publicly-owned transmission line, with federal tax-payer dollars. Yet somehow, they have allowed negotiations to go on in private with one influential land-owner. What started in 2010 as a $14M rebuild, has ballooned into a $19M re-route prior to any notice or consent from the public. Now they are pursuing a costly and unnecessary re-route that's longer, costs more, and does more damage to the Estes Valley in front of RMNP and Roosevelt National Forest, land owned by us, the American Public.

Views from  Roosevelt National Forest next to the Pole Hill public access trailhead, looking across the Estes Valley into RMNP.  WAPA plans clear-cut, 110' steel towers and lines right through here, unless enough of us stand up to oppose it.
Views from Roosevelt National Forest next to the Pole Hill public access trailhead, looking across the Estes Valley into RMNP. WAPA plans clear-cut, 110' steel towers and lines right through here, unless enough of us stand up to oppose it.


I hope folks from all over the country read this post and write in over the next 24 hours and tell WAPA that as owners of our federal public lands, we can outnumber the political clout of one property owner any day of the week. Tell WAPA to use the USFS Designated Utility Corridor, to stay away from the foreground of Rocky Mountain National Park, away from scenic Highway 36, and away from the public access trailhead into Roosevelt National Forest, where no utility corridor or clear-cuts exist, so we can all keep coming to the Estes Valley to enjoy RMNP, Lumpy Ridge, and Roosevelt National Forest.

The comment period ends in 24 hours, January 31st, 2012, midnight.

Take Action Here: responsiblelines.org/takeaction

Thanks everybody. You're Awesome!


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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jan 30, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.

With so many climbers from colorado on here I can't understand why this isn't getting more replies. Hopefully people are sending letters and just not replying. It only takes 2 seconds to do...


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By matt davies
Jan 30, 2012

Hagerman Pass.
Hagerman Pass.


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By Shralpine
From boulder, co
Jan 30, 2012
one of the 5.10 pitches on pervertical

letter sent. Literally took 2 seconds, DO IT!!!


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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Jan 30, 2012
Wall Street, Moab, UT

Message sent, though I hope it (and many others) won't get disregarded as a "campaign"... that seems to be a tactic among politicos who don't like the public actually participating. Best of luck with this- it wouldn't be the first time the Estes Park area has been influenced by a short term private interest.


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