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Draft EIS out for LVE Crow Creek Pipeline  

USDA Photo

• Project brings gas supply into Star Valley.

SVI Media/Dan Dockstader & C-T National Forest

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is released its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the Crow Creek Pipeline Lower Valley Energy Project on July 14, 2023.

This announcement kicks off a formal 90-day comment period. Electronic, written, or hand-delivered comments concerning these documents will be accepted for 90-days from the publication date of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or time-frame information provided by any other sources.

The proposed 12-inch or less high-pressure pipeline will provide a steady and reliable source of natural gas to the Afton/Star Valley, Wyoming area, ensuring a consistent source of energy to rural communities regardless of winter road conditions. The pipeline would be approximately 49-miles long with 18-miles crossing National Forest System (NFS) lands administered by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

“We’re happy to get the Draft Environmental Impact Statement out,” said Lower Valley Energy CEO Jim Webb. “We have been working with the Forest Service and they have done a good job with it.”

Webb explained, now that it has been issued, people have 90 days for comment, followed by 45 days for the Forest Service to to respond, with another 30-days allowed for the administrative process.

Using gas that originates out of Opal, LVE is tapping into a gas-line near Montpelier for the service that will lead to Star Valley.

“We first approached the forest service in 2017, then in 2019 they issued a final record of decision to proceed,” Webb said explaining the lawsuit.

He recalled lawsuits for environmental concerns, but that did not slow the process. The project was delayed when the Department of Justice noted a small Bureau of Land Management crossing with the pipeline, putting that federal agency in charge of the approval process.

LVE responded by moving the line off of the BLM property and onto a combination of private and Forest Service land.

Since that change, the process has  moved forward with this latest Draft EIS.

“We’re excited to get this project  through,” said Webb. “We truck in LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) to Afton. It’s more reliable to have a pipeline;  it can help us with growth.”

Webb advised the current trucking operations support 850 meters in Afton with 163 truck loads of natural gas a year.

“We have just grown to the point that it is no longer feasible and we need reliability. If a road closes it has an effect,” he said, adding, “Once we get the pipeline in, we can get into other parts of the valley and grow.”

Webb said initial plans call for growth of the system into Thayne  and Alpine.

“It will be nice to have diversity in ways to heat,” he concluded. “So if we have a 20-below stretch, we want to provide the services needed in cold weather.”

He concluded, “We’re excited to get going; its a great project and provides people with alternative heating sources.”


The Forest Service received the  request from Lower Valley Energy in 2017 to construct a natural gas pipeline from Montpelier, Idaho to Afton, Wyoming.  The Forest Service initiated an Environmental Impact Statement in 2018 and completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement and issued a Record of Decision authorizing the pipeline in November 2019.

In March 2022, the Forest Service determined the authority to authorize the pipeline resides with the Bureau of Land Management because the proposed project crossed two or more federal land management agencies.

The Forest Service worked with the Bureau of Land Management and the proponent to utilize the existing analysis and complete additional analysis required to process the application for this natural gas pipeline staying only on Forest Service-managed lands.

“The proposed plan consists of the Forest Service’s Preferred Alternative identified in the 2019 Final EIS, plus an approximate 0.5 mile reroute on private lands to avoid crossing BLM-administered lands,” said Mel Bolling, Forest Supervisor. The Forest worked closely with the local BLM office in processing this change.

All documents for this project are posted on the forest website at:

Refer to this site for other helpful information and for submitting comments. Hard-copy documents may be reviewed at the Montpelier Ranger District located at 322 North 4th Street, Montpelier, ID 83254 or the Supervisor’s Office at 1405 Hollipark Drive, Idaho Falls, ID 83401.

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