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U.S. FOREST SERVICE PERMITTING PROCESS

Role and responsibility

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is a cooperating agency on the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project (B2H). The USFS has adopted the Final EIS prepared by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as the lead agency for the NEPA process, issued in November 2016. The proposed route submitted by Idaho Power Company crosses federal lands administered by the USFS, and the USFS issued a separate Record of Decision (ROD) for actions on National Forest System (NFS) lands.

In its decision, the USFS was required to determine whether to issue a special use authorization for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the project and what terms and conditions should apply.

USFS Record of Decision

The USFS released its ROD Nov. 9, 2018, approving the issuance of a special-use authorization to Idaho Power for the B2H Project. Pending Oregon and Idaho state and federal permitting requirements, Idaho Power will be authorized to construct, operate, and maintain the line across NFS lands administered by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

The selected route is located south of Interstate 84, extending from near Kamela on the north end to Hilgard State Park on the south (PDF map of the selected route on Wallowa-Whitman National Forest). The route comprises 6.8 miles of the 294-mile-long corridor. Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor, Tom Montoya, is the responsible official for the USFS decision.

Key considerations in Montoya’s decision for the selected route included:

  • Maximizing use of an existing designated utility corridor;
  • Paralleling an existing transmission line, which allows for some ancillary facilities and access road to be effectively co-located;
  • Avoiding or minimizing impacts on federally protected fish, as well as historical and cultural resources; and
  • Meeting the needs of Idaho Power to meet energy demands in the greater Northwest and improve overall system reliability.

The ROD Final EIS and other documents are available on the USFS project webpage.


This website is the joint Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project site. While information contained on this site is approved for posting by the BLM, it is not the official BLM website. For more general BLM information, visit the BLM website.