IRU Conservation Associate Ava Isaacson spins some beautiful, relevant prose about why she loves a river for our periodic column: What Rivers Mean to Me.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon yesterday approved a plan for increased spill at eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. The plan was developed in response to the court’s April 2017 order requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to spill more water through spillways (as opposed to through turbines) to boost survival of endangered salmon and steelhead.
The lower Snake River between Pasco, Wash., and Lewiston, Idaho, is first and foremost a shipping channel dammed in the 1960s and 1970s to make the water deep enough so that barges could safely navigate the canyon. The market, however, has decided against water-borne commerce on the lower Snake River. Shipping there peaked in the late 1990s and has been on a steady decline ever since. That trend continued in 2017.
Fighting for river protections can sometimes feel like an upstream paddle. It’s easy to lose sight of the long-range vision and difference we’re making while working hard for small victories along the way. For that reason and more, compiling an annual review of our year’s challenges and accomplishments offers a much-needed window for reflection and an opportunity to plan for work ahead.
If American CuMo Mining Corp, a Canadian company, has its way the city of Boise will be downstream from one of the largest toxic open pit mines in the West.
CuMo is proposing to build more than 10 miles of new roads and clear 137 drill pads in the Boise River headwaters near Grimes Creek. The company hopes the nearly 3,000-acre exploration leads to development of one of the largest open-pit mines on the planet.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game today acknowledged that sockeye salmon from its new $14 million Springfield Hatchery in southern Idaho are dying at difficult-to-explain rates.
In a press release issued today, Fish and Game biologists said their leading theory about why is because of a difference in water hardness between the hatchery and the natural lakes and streams in the upper Salmon River system.