Delores Hagen on birds, routes, and CATF

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 6, 2009 @ 6:26 am

Delores Hagen is making her mark on this project, and I hope that Commerce/MOES is paying attention.

Check out Henderson Feathers.

Delores Hagen has also been making presentations to local governments, including LeSueur County and Sibley County, about CapX 2020 and why those local governments have to wake up and weigh in.

For her CapX site with video and Petition, CLICK HERE!

We had a brief chat yesterday, it was heartening to find yet another activist with hilarous stories of utility and government actions — we have to laugh, because if we didn’t…  She called to sign up for a Citizens Advisory Task Force and was told there were none for her to participate in.  She reminded Scott Ek of the PUC Order (Earth to Mars, how do they think they can get away with that) and he finally had to admit she was right.  They better not try something stupid like this again.  I, for one, am being proactive in getting notice to local governments and individuals, watching Commerce’s actions and inaction, and am doing everything in my power to assure that Commerce follows that PUC Order.

HEADS UP, COMMERCE, EXPECT A LOT OF CALLS AND EMAILS AND LETTERS OF INTEREST IN PARTICIPATING IN THE CITIZENS ADVISORY TASK FORCE — GET THEM SET UP, ALLOW ENOUGH TIME FOR LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT TO APPOINT A REP, AND GIVE THEM ENOUGH TIME TO DO THEIR JOB!  A TASK FORCE MEMBER SHOULD CHAIR, A SOLID ALL-INCLUSIVE REPORT SHOULD BE WRITTEN, AND DOCUMENTS SUPPORTING THE TASK FORCE REPORT MUST BE INCLUDED WITH THE REPORT IN THE RECORD!  DON’T SLOUGH OFF, DON’T DO A HALF-ASSED JOB!

This kind of nonsense that Delores Hagen went through is what I was anticipating when I went to PUC to get the Task Force Order, and I want to make sure a Task Force a la Chisago Project doesn’t happen again.  Fiasco?  Yes, what else do you call a fight to get a Task Force and an ineffective effort to let local governments know that they can/should participate and not having enough lead time for them to appoint reps and to cram in 3 meetings over 8 days, what a farce!  Oh, and what else do you call it when the big pile of supporting documents was disappeared, were not included in the record!?!??!  That’s not acceptable.  I’m on this, and am trying to figure out how best to assure this doesn’t happen again.

Here are two articles about Delores Hagen’s efforts:

Petition is launched to re-route transmission line

February 5th, 2009

The proposed CapX2020 345 kV electrical transmission line “preferred route” has raised an issue for residents in the Henderson and Le Sueur area.

According to Dolores Hagen, director of Henderson Feathers, “People aren’t happy having that power line proposed to go right through Bucks’ Lake and the Blue Heron Rookery. It seemed appropriate to develop some method for those people to express themselves.”

Two possible routes are being considered. The preferred route would travel through the Henderson Sand Prairie residential area, down the bluff, across the south end of Bucks’ Lake, the Heron Rookery, the Le Sueur sewer ponds and through portions of residential Le Sueur. The alternate route would turn north along Fabor Avenue out of Le Sueur County into Belle Plaine Township in Scott County, bypassing Le Sueur altogether.

“We encourage use of the alternative route,” Hagen said. “That’s why we drafted the petition. It will give residents an opportunity to express their position.”

A video called “The Le Sueur/Henderson Recovery Zone” is being aired on the local cable access channel. The video is also available on YouTube and at the Henderson Web site, hendersonmn.com.

Hagen gave the video presentation to the Sibley County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 27. The County Board did not take action as a group to support one route over the other, because both routes would cross the Minnesota River in Sibley County. Hagen said the alternate route’s crossing already has a transmission line there.

The petition supporting the alternate route is available at Henderson Feathers, 526 Main Street in Henderson, or online at hendersonmn.com.

In the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Bird lover opposes power line project in south central Minnesota

By Brian Ojanpa

Mankato Free Press
Updated: 02/05/2009 09:34:51 AM CST

HENDERSON, Minn. — A power line project has produced a not-in-my-back yard cry with an addendum: Not-in-my- back-yard-where-eagles-soar.

Never mind that transmission lines bisecting the Minnesota River Valley would be “aesthetically disgusting,” said Dolores Hagen of Henderson. What really has her crying foul is that the lines would hamper fowl. That’s because a Minnesota River Flyway spot near Henderson and Le Sueur is a nesting area for eagles and the migration route for dozens of bird species.

“You can watch eagles dance in the sky and watch herons go back and forth in their nests,” she said of a roadside pull-off area along Bucks Lake near Le Sueur.

The proposed CapX 2020 transmission line would stretch from Brookings, S.D., to Hampton in southeastern Minnesota, and would cut right through the lake.

This is the current preferred route for the line. Hagen has started a petition calling for the project’s alternate route to be used. That route would have the lines crossing the river at Belle Plaine.

The power line project is a joint initiative of 11 transmission-owning utilities in Minnesota and the surrounding region. Its purpose is to expand the electric transmission grid to meet growing power demands in the region that the current grid won’t be able to handle.

“We need power. I’m not against power. But the preferred route would be very disruptive to what we call the Le Sueur Recovery Zone,” said Hagen, who operates a bird information center in Henderson, where visitors are apprised of prime bird-watching spots in the area.

Hagen said the Henderson area of the Minnesota River Valley is prime bird-viewing territory, and bird-watching groups can provide economic stimulus to an area badly in need of it.

“The Minnesota River Valley is a treasure, and people have abused it horribly for so many years,” she said.

But its environmental habitat has been rebounding of late, and Hagen suggests that installation of the lines near Henderson would be a decided step backward in its recovery.

Ray Kirsch of the Minnesota Department of Commerce is the public adviser for the project. He said no matter where the lines eventually are routed, some people are likely to be unhappy.

“It’s a challenge. ‘Balance everything’ is what they’re charged with doing,” he says of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s task of deciding upon a route.

The routes being considered were submitted by the project’s applicant agencies, Great River Energy and Xcel Energy.

Bob Cupit of the Utilities Commission’s permitting unit said those agencies eventually will have to show why they’ve deemed those routes preferable.

Cupit said the eventual route chosen by the commission will be one that minimizes disruption and impact on the environment and the public.

” The goal is to make it fit the landscape and human side of things as much as possible,” he said.

A series of public meetings all along the South Dakota/Minnesota routing areas will be held this spring, and people can suggest other route alternatives at those gatherings.

A decision on a route is expected to be made in December with line construction starting in 2011.

Here’s a general article about CapX 2020 in the Gaylord newspaper:

Power line project announces preferred routes



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace