Press Release
Draft Compatibility Determination at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge
Media Contacts

LA JOYA, N.M.— The U.S Fish & Wildlife Service and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) invites public comment on a draft Compatibility Determination (CD) for permitting limited use of airspace outside the pre-existing easement. The Service is seeking comments through June 28th.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association (Tri-State) currently operates and maintains a 115 kV line within a 50-foot easement across Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Tri-State and SunZia jointly requested from Sevilleta NWR a right-of-way permit that would authorize Tri-State to operate outside of the existing 50-foot easement strictly for the purpose of conductor blowout, or “line sway.”

Conductor blowout, or line sway, refers to the magnitude of the horizontal displacement of a conductor due to wind. Blowout is one of the design constraints considered when designing a transmission line. Blowout is normal and expected behavior of a transmission line conductor. The draft compatibility determination reviews conductor blowout or line sway operations in the airspace on each side, outside of the easement, throughout the length of the project (approx. 11.6 miles) that extends through Sevilleta NWR.

A compatibility determination describes the circumstances under which a refuge use or activity would be allowed. When a compatibility determination is accepted, it means a proposed or existing use has been found appropriate for the site and is consistent with the missions of the refuge, the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The CD is available for public review and comment from May 30 to June 28, 2023. Hard copies are available at the refuge visitor center. Comments will be accepted via email to and by mailing or hand-delivering to Refuge Headquarters, 40 Refuge Road San Acacia, NM 87831. For additional questions about the Refuge, please contact the Refuge Headquarters at (505) 864-4021 or visit the website