The Idaho Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) covers Mountain Home Air Force Base (AFB), Gowen Field, and their associated training areas and ranges. Mountain Home AFB comprises 6,852 acres, and with its thousands of acres of ranges, forms a military operations area (MOA) in Elmore and Owyhee Counties. Mountain Home and the MOA support deployable combat air operational, wartime contingency, and global peacetime training missions. The 366th Fighter Wing is stationed at Mountain Home with the mission to train F-15 pilots and crews. Gowen Field and Orchard Training Area, both located in Ada County, comprise 576 acres and 138,551 acres, respectively. Gowen Field, adjacent to the Boise International Airport, hosts the Idaho Air National Guard and Army National Guard, supporting close air support and transport missions.
Joint Land Use Study Planning Process
The Air Force nominated Mountain Home AFB for a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) in 2006, due to concerns regarding proposed "mega-dairies," wind energy development, and limited land use planning in proximity to Mountain AFB and Gowen Field. The State of Idaho Department of Commerce was the Program Lead for the JLUS, organizing policy and technical committees for both the Mountain Home AFB and Gowen Field study areas. Key jurisdictions participating in the study included the state of Idaho; Ada, Elmore, and Owyhee Counties; the Cities of Boise and Mountain Home; and the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. The JLUS was completed in August 2010 to address compatible land use and mission sustainability for the valued air assets.
Planning, zoning, height restrictions, and other implementation requirements for the seven affected jurisdictions are prescribed in the JLUS. The JLUS includes the following key implementation actions:
- Establish a JLUS Coordinating Committee to maintain efficient and effective coordination.
- Identify six different Areas of Military Influence (AMI) where implementation strategies should be applied to address compatible use issues, including a General AMI map to delineate compatible, potentially incompatible and non-compatible areas for military aircraft operations.
- Identify 86 implementation strategies tailored for the applicable jurisdictions.
- Include key implementation strategies, such as land easements/rights-of-way, avigation easements, Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard coordination, General Plan/Comprehensive Plan updates, building code amendments, vertical obstruction management, additional noise studies, procedures to increase coordination between military and jurisdictions, deed notifications, and real estate disclosures.
The Idaho Department of Commerce continues to work with the jurisdictions around Mountain Home AFB and Gowen Field to help implement appropriate measures at the local and state level that will promote compatible development around the installations and the training ranges. In November 2011, the participating jurisdictions formed a JLUS Coordinating Committee to monitor and track implementation of the JLUS recommendations. The Committee meets twice a year, in March and September.
State of Idaho JLUS Website: landusecompatibility.com/idaho/resources.htm