Letters to the Editor on Feb. 1, 2011

Yale Valley is not ‘unpopulated’

I wish to correct the impression being given the public by some members of the anti-BPA powerline groups.

Their pet project has been the so-called “Eastern Route,” and to promote it, they like to refer to it as “unpopulated” and “land owned by timber companies.” In fact, this proposed line zigzags through eastern Yale Valley and impacts hundreds of residents there. There are a number of homes within a few hundred feet of the line, and, yes, children live in some of those, also. This is not a line through an “unpopulated area” as they are eager to assert.

They also state repeatedly that the line runs mostly through company holdings. Not so. For instance, the easement runs down the property line between us, with our home of 32 years, and our neighbors. Most of the residents in Yale Valley and vicinity live on small acreages, many of which are partly forested. However, none of them are timber companies, either.

I researched power lines 9 and 25 on the BPA map of routes under consideration for this project. Those two lines were constructed in 1939. Over 70 years ago. Since then hundreds of homes have been built next to those easements. And people bought them, and rent them, and live in them. But when they did so, they knew the power lines were there. It was a decision they willingly made, for reasons of convenience, economics, or whatever. But it was their decision.

Current KV loads for those lines are from 230 KV to 345 KV, and the existing towers range from 60’ to 125’ tall. The new line, built here, would increase the KV to 500 and the tower heights to 120 feet to 150 feet. I’m even told that having multiple lines can actually decrease the EMF readings. This is where the new line should go.

The people in Yale Valley tolerate many inconveniences to live in our secluded little mountain valley community. To be treated as though we do not count for anything, (or, in fact, do not even exist), is not only an insult. It is just plain wrong.

Patti Olson, Ariel