Transmission line project could be delayed because of sage grouse

A projected transmission line upgrade could be delayed due its proposed location in priority sage grouse habitat.

Idaho Power Co. officials say they will delay setting any plan for long-term upgrades in the Wood River Valley until federal officials make a final decision on whether or not to list the bird as an endangered species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared sage grouse a candidate under the Endangered Species Act in 2010. A year later, a federal judge approved a settlement that would require federal officials to make final listing decisions for all 250 candidates. The deadline for sage grouse is 2015.

The utility company has been working with community members on upgrading the Wood River Valley electric grid since 2007. The project was expected to add a second transmission line in the northern valley and rebuild two lines in the southern region.

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