By Miriam Raftery
January 1, 2017 (McCain Valley) – Road widening in anticipation of construction of the Tule Wind energy project in McCain Valley begins Tuesday, January 3rd. A public notice has been issued cautioning users of McCain Valley Road, Lake Canyon Campground, Cottonwood Campground and the Off Highway Vehicle Area about temporary closures and traffic delays.
Slow-moving construction vehicles and equipment will be on site starting Tuesday. During January, construction will commence Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
McCain Valley Road will remain open through construction, but visits may encounter slow-moving construction vehicles and short road delays at times. If work is expected to cause delays longer than 15 minutes on McCain Valley Road, an advisory will be posted at least 48 hours in advance on the Public Information Board at the entrance to McCain Valley Reaction Area and also online at http://tulewindeccmp.com/.
Campgrounds will remain open throughout construction and operation of the wind project except for occasional closures for public safety. Temporary closures of campground and the off-highway vehicle areas will be necessary during construction starting in mid-January and will be posted at least 48 hours in advance.
Please drive with caution due to construction vehicles and personnel on the roadway. Check the project website at http://tulewindeccmp.com/ or the public information board before planning activities during construction. If you have questions or concerns call the free hotline at (844)-784-6549.
The Tule Wind project drew strong opposition from environmentalists due to irreversable damage to the rugged and beautiful terrain in McCain Valley, wildlife habitat, and dangers posed by whirling turbine blades to eagles and other raptors.
Donna Tisdale, who led efforts to challenge the project in court, told ECM, "We have exhausted all of our legal challenges to no avail. Our efforts did manage to reduce the project footprint and number of turbines, and to extract limited mitigation funds for some community groups. However no amount of mitigation can make up for the long-term destruction of public lands, wildlife and other resources, or impacted residents."