GREATER YELLOWSTONE COALITION
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GYC strongly supports legislation that is introduced in the U.S. Congress, calling for protections for East Rosebud Creek, a spectacular stream that rushes off the granite shoulders of the Beartooth Mountains through undulating ranchlands. East Rosebud is a stronghold for native cutthroat trout.

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Bear River: Dam denial a win for native cutthroat

Latest News: The Director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources has issued its Final Order denying the Twin Lakes Canal Company’s application for a permit to divert water from the Bear River which would be essential to its proposed dam on the Bear River. This decision is hugely important in our efforts to protect the last free-flowing stretch of this important river in Greater Yellowstone. Although this is a final decision, it could still be legally challenged by Twin Lakes. While a successful legal challenge would be difficult, GYC will be vigilant in insuring that the final order denying the application remains in place.

Overview: The Bear River is important because it provides important fish and wildlife habitat as well as unique recreational opportunities. The entire length of the river through this rugged canyon is publically accessible, offering camping, hiking, fishing, floating, and wildlife viewing. Just as important, this section of the Bear also has some of the last large-river habitat for the rare and imperiled Bonneville cutthroat trout. This dam would had inundated the canyon and threatened to destroy this unique public resource.

The canal company is still in the midst of applying for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for the project. While that licensing process will likely continue for some time, we will continue to monitor progress.

Project Goals: We have joined with other conservation groups and another energy company, PacificCorps, to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject Twin Lakes’ application to move ahead on the Bear River Narrows Hydroelectric Project. Our aim is to keep this unique stretch of river free-flowing.

Image courtesy of Chris Hunt.

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OVERVIEW
  • The Bear River starts in northern Utah and flows into Wyoming and Idaho before emptying into the Great Salt Lake.
  • At 350 miles, the Bear is the largest and longest tributary of the Great Salt Lake.
  • The Bear once was a tributary of the Snake River, but lava flows diverted it to ancient Lake Bonneville.

Contact
Bob Zimmer, Water Program Coordinator

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