High-voltage line, high eagle aeries

Eagles in southern Oreron and south-central Idaho will be getting some new nesting places, thanks to a $12,000 project by the Pacific Power & Light Company and its new 500,000-vold Idaho-to- Oregon transmission line.

Some 42 of the line's 180- foot-high towers in the two states will carry nesting platforms in areas where the food supply is ample but natural nesting sites few, because of the platforms are being installed about 160 feet above the ground.

The randomly placed galvanized steel platforms are the design of Morlan Nelson, an eagle expert from Boise, Idaho, and are similar to platforms used in an earlier experiment on lower-voltage lines in other Western-Areas. This will be the most extensive use of the platforms, and their first use on a high- voltage line.

The platforms are the utility's answer to environmenttalists' arguments that placing the high-power line in southern Oregon will force eagles and other birds of prey away from the area.

Completion of this $237 million high-voltage power line will make possible the delivery by Pacific Power & Light of additional power from its Wyoming generating plants to the Pacific Northwest. It will also provide backup transmission capacity for service to Idaho and other points in the Rocky Mountain region.

Only recently Pacific Power, in partnership with Black Hills Power & Light Company of Idaho, filed application with two Wyoming state agencies for permits to proceed with plans for a second 330-000-kilowatt unit at their operational Wyodak plant near Gilette, Wyo. The first unit was completed by the two companies in mid- 1978.

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