CenturyLink Fiber Optic Project – Warm Springs Road


For Immediate Release
Contact: 208-423-7500

Julie Thomas, Public Affairs Officer

Web: http://www.fs.usda.gov/snf/




CenturyLink Fiber Optic Project – Warm Springs Road



December 2, 2019


The Ketchum Ranger District of the Sawtooth National Forest is seeking comments for the CenturyLink Fiber Optic Project proposed to take place along Warm Springs Road.  In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Ketchum Ranger District is considering the proposal under a categorical exclusion.  The initial stage of the NEPA process includes public scoping to obtain comments and input regarding the project proposal that will help determine key environmental issues. 


What is being proposed?


The Ketchum Ranger District has received a request to amend the existing special use permit for CenturyLink to install additional fiber optic cable across 7.4 miles of National Forest System lands.  CenturyLink has operated under a USDA Forest Service special use permit on the Ketchum Ranger District along Warm Springs Road since 1976 when the copper telephone services were installed.  CenturyLink currently has an installation request for a residential customer on Warm Springs Road approximately 7.5 miles west of the city limits of Ketchum, Idaho. If the installation occurs, other residents along Warm Springs Road would also have the option to upgrade to fiber optic service.


The proposed installation would have approximately 31,261 feet of underground cable and approximately 10,844 feet of aerial cable.  Underground fiber optic installation would involve one fiber optic cable placed inside a 1 ¼ inch polypipe duct that would be buried in the road right-of-way using a spade plow attached to backhoe or excavator.  Aerial sections of installation would involve the fiber optic





cable being attached to existing Idaho Power poles.  Some poles may need to be replaced with 45-50 ft. poles to accommodate the new fiber optic cable attachment.

The deciding official is Forest Supervisor Jim DeMaagd.  All applicable regulations and executive orders will be considered before a decision is made.  If this proposal is approved, CenturyLink would begin installation in the late spring/early summer of 2020. For more information regarding this project please visit the Forest’s website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57182



The Ketchum Ranger District values your ideas and comments regarding this proposal.  Although comments are welcome throughout the planning process, providing comments by January 6, 2020 will allow time for your input to be considered during analysis.  Please note that comments are a matter of public record and therefore may be provided to interested parties upon request.


Comments may be submitted by facsimile, U.S. mail, or hand-delivery to the Ketchum Ranger District or Sawtooth National Forest Supervisors Office.  Office hours for hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  Electronic comments can be submitted by e-mail message to comments-intermtn-sawtooth-ketchum@usda.gov.  These comments must be submitted in a format such as plain text (.txt), rich text (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), or Word (.doc).  Please indicate “CenturyLink Fiber Optic Project” in the subject line.  For further information regarding this project, please contact NEPA Planner Zach Shull at zachary.shull@usda.gov or (208) 423-7555.


The mission of the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 30 percent of the nation’s surface drinking water to cities and rural communities and approximately 66 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System.  The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.)






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