Company withdraws wind projects on Steens Mountain

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- A developer has withdrawn plans to build two wind farms on Steens Mountain, a popular recreation area in the remote high desert of southeastern Oregon.

Columbia Energy Partners, LLC announced Thursday it will no longer pursue the East Ridge and West Ridge projects on private property within the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area.

The company says various business, regulatory and environmental concerns led to the decision.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association had opposed wind farms on the mountain, arguing other places could be developed that are not so beloved by Oregonians.

The company says it will continue with development of the Echanis project outside the protection area.