JACKSON HOLE, WYO – On the heels of the announcement that Lower Valley Energy will bury the new power lines along Highway 390 comes news that the Jackson Hole Land Trust has worked out an initiative to bury an additional 2,700 feet of power line extending from the Snake River Ranch to Teton Village resort.
The pilot project is a result of a partnership between LVE and JHLT. The Land Trust will be working closely with LVE on this new initiative created to assist with the burial of overhead utility lines on existing conservation easement properties along scenic highway corridors in JHLT’s service area, the Land Trust stated today.
“There are several key easement properties that we are hoping to target with this initiative,” said Peter Lawton, chair of the Land Trust’s board of directors. “Snake River Ranch makes a lot of sense as a pilot project because of the work and investment that Lower Valley Energy is already putting into the line burial along Highway 390 from the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.”
LVE was pleased with the announcement as well.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Jackson Hole Land Trust on this effort to move a portion of the utility lines on Highway 390 underground,” said Lower Valley spokesman Brian Tanabe. “The extension of the line burial to the South of the Snake River Ranch will provide the community with not only scenic advantages, but also an even greater safeguard against power outages by sheltering an increased length of utility lines from wind, snow, ice and tree damage, meaning fewer outages and less damage when they do occur.”
Last winter, on February 7, a storm knocked down 17 75-foot steel power poles feeding electricity to Teton Village, Solitude area and the airport. During the monumental effort of restoring power by constructing temporary wooden poles, many in the community wondered whether it would be feasible to bury the lines when LVE made a solution permanent. Initially the cost was thought to be prohibitive but lower estimates more recently convinced LVE to move forward with the plan to bury lines.
LVE will begin this fall burying its utility lines downed last winter from Teton Village south to the location where the last pole failed. Since the buried line cannot be placed inside a highway right of way, Snake River Ranch is donating a 20-foot wide utility easement parallel to upper 390 for the full length of the buried line from its property to the Village.
The Snake River Ranch conservation easements consist of 1,845 acres that were protected by the Jackson Hole Land Trust in 1984. Much of the scenic vistas and ranchlands on the approach to Teton Village and Grand Teton National Park along Highway 390 are protected by these easements, which contain agricultural, scenic, and wildlife conservation values.