Old Pass Road

A cyclist makes her way up Old Pass Road in late September on Teton Pass. Lower Valley Energy has proposed to bury 2.2 miles of power line in the area.

A 2.2-mile-stretch of power line that climbs up Teton Pass may soon be buried by Lower Valley Energy if the electric utility gets the nod to do so.

Roughly, the portion of high-voltage line that would go underground stretches from Trail Creek Ranch to just south of the Glory Bowl slide path. Construction could occur as soon as this fall, weather permitting, though the project is currently awaiting approval from the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

“This is a Lower Valley Energy project that is taking place on forest land,” Bridger-Teton spokesman Evan Guzik said.

Benefits to burying the line are esthetic but also practical. They include reducing the risk of potential wildfire from trees being torched by overhead lines and improving the reliability of electric service by reducing the chance of outages from snow-loaded lines.

“Additionally, wildlife interactions with the system will be minimized by removing the potential for avian lines strikes and human-wildlife interactions when workers are conducting maintenance on the overhead lines,” Bridger-Teton officials described in a scoping notice.

The line would be buried on the uphill side of the Old Pass Road trail. There would be disruptions to recreation in the area while construction is happening.

Email any comments by Oct. 11 to the forest’s North Zone permit administrator, Alyssa Milo, at Alyssa.Milo@usda.gov.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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(1) comment

Chip Marvin

Esthetic? What do esthetician’s have to do with power lines?

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