GYC stops dam on Idaho's Bear River

Success! A dam that would have flooded the last free-flowing section of southeast Idaho’s Bear River was killed today, thanks to both GYC’s partnership work over the past 10+ years, and to supporters like you.  

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Thursday officially denied the Twin Lakes Canal Company’s license application for the dam, as the dam isn’t in the public interest and would damage the river. Twin Lake’s dam would have inundated a place called Oneida Narrows, a 4.5-mile stretch of river that 60,000 people float and fish every year. The Narrows are an important Bonneville cutthroat trout fishery, and the river area is home to nearly 50 species that Idaho considers sensitive. And nearly three-quarters of the people living within 40 miles of the Narrows say they want the Bear River here to stay free flowing.

The FERC’s decision keeps this one river stretch – the only one of its kind in southeast Idaho – just like it is.

Oneida Narrows (above) will stay undammed, thanks to GYC's work in partnership with local groups in Idaho. (Photo GYC.)

Oneida Narrows (above) will stay undammed, thanks to GYC's work in partnership with local groups in Idaho. (Photo GYC.)

The official denial is the final nail in the coffin on this dam, which we and our partners have fought for more than 10 years. We’ve worked with Bear Lake Watch, Bear River Watershed Council, Great Salt Lake Keeper, Idaho Rivers United, Oneida Narrow Organization, American Whitewater, Franklin County Fish and Game and Trout Unlimited to convince the state of Idaho to deny a water right for this dam. We also worked with the Bureau of Land Management to protect the Narrows as a whitewater recreation area.

Big thanks to the FERC for denying the license for this dam. And thanks to all of our partners and supporters who worked with us over the past 15 years to keep this stretch of the Bear River like it is.

-- GYC staff