Seeking Public Input on Nebraska R-Project Transmission Line

Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Input on the R-Project Transmission Line Revised Habitat Conservation Plan and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
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DENVER – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public input on a revised habitat conservation plan and draft supplemental environmental impact statement for a new transmission line in Nebraska, the R-Project. The Nebraska Public Power District prepared a revised HCP in support of its new application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act to authorize the take of the federally threatened American burying beetle that may result from potential activities involved during the construction, operation and maintenance of the transmission line. 

The power utility company is proposing a 226-mile long, 345-kilovolt transmission line that would cross portions of the sandhills in north-central Nebraska. The R-Project starts at the Gerald Gentleman Substation near Sutherland, Neb.; goes north to a substation located in Thomas County near Thedford; then extends east to another substation in Holt County, where it will connect to the Western Area Power Administration’s existing Fort Thompson to Grand Island line located on the eastern border of Holt County.  

The Nebraska Public Power District worked with the Service to incorporate new information obtained since the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado’s 2020 remand of the Service’s 2019 incidental take permit. The draft SEIS evaluates impacts related to the proposed issuance of the incidental take permit and the associated revised HCP implementation. The HCP includes a risk evaluation for whooping cranes, potential impacts on cultural and historic resources, and potential effects from renewable energy projects related to the R-Project. Find more information in the frequently asked questions (add link).

This announcement initiates a 60-day public comment period to submit comments beginning February 9 - April 9, 2024. The Service seeks input on the effects of potential impacts on the human environment, including issuing a permit authorizing incidental take of a covered species in association with covered activities and the revised habitat conservation plan implementation. Input received during the public comment period will be incorporated into the final supplemental environmental impact statement.

Comments can be submitted through using docket number FWS-R6-ES-2014-0048. 

The Service will host two in-person meetings in February and one virtual public meeting in March. The meeting details will be posted on the Service’s website at


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit and connect with us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube

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