Rrecent Press Releases
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed a petition today that would have overridden state ability to enforce water quality standards—a right that has been codified by the Supreme Court. The ruling was a win for IRU and other conservation groups that are seeking better water quality standards at three Idaho Power Co. dams on the Snake River in Hells Canyon.
Pacific Northwest salmon advocates filed in federal district court late yesterday to seek implementation of emergency measures to protect endangered salmon, as well as taxpayers, while federal agencies conduct long-term analyses of federal dams and the impact they have on salmon.
The lower Snake River will take center stage Wednesday afternoon and evening in Lewiston, where the Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will host an open house to seek public input on developing a new lawful, science-based plan to prevent extinction of wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers.
After two decades and five failed attempts to write a legal and biologically-sound plan to keep Idaho’s endangered salmon from going extinct, the federal government has announced a fall meeting schedule to gather public input about how to manage dams in the region.
Hundreds gathered in the Lewis-Clark Valley of north Idaho and eastern Washington today to paddle in support of a free-flowing lower Snake River.
In response to rising water temperatures and inaction by federal agencies, Pacific Northwest groups, including IRU, are filing to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take action and prevent massive, heat-driven fish kills.
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge again found that the Forest Service had acted arbitrarily and capriciously by approving the CuMo Exploration Project in the Bloise River headwaters without adequate environmental analysis.
A never-say-die dam proposal for the Bear River of southeast Idaho is finally dead. Citing a host of environmental concerns raised by IRU and our allies, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today formally rejected the application to build a new hydropower dam at the Bear River narrows, a scenic canyon east of Preston and an area popular with anglers and paddlers.
A federal court order issued May 12 protects the Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater Wild and Scenic rivers from clear cuts and roads planned by the U.S. Forest Service following the 2014 Johnson Bar Fire.
In a powerful 149-page ruling delivered yesterday, federal District Judge Michael Simon lambasted the federal government for failing to show that its dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers aren't driving endangered salmon and steelhead toward extinction.
Citing harm to the rare, native plant Sacajawea’s bitterroot and uncertain impacts to water quality, three conservation groups filed their opening brief in court yesterday to stop the CuMo mineral exploration project from moving forward in the headwaters of the Boise River.
Citing imminent and irreparable harm to two of America’s original Wild and Scenic Rivers, two environmental groups yesterday filed for an emergency preliminary injunction to stop a Selway River logging operation.
A federal judge this week upheld Wild and Scenic River values when he declared that the U.S. Forest Service ignored the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by approving access to a state logging sale in the Selway River canyon.
Idaho Rivers United filed in federal court today to defend the Wild and Scenic rivers of the Clearwater River basin in North Idaho. The suit challenges the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the Johnson Bar Fire Salvage Project, which would facilitate logging of 34 million board feet of timber from 2,104 acres within the watershed of the Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers.
The sockeye salmon die-off of 2015 is a disaster that must be prevented in the future, charge more than 20 signatories in a letter sent today to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “The Army Corps’ inability to protect returning adult salmon from high water temperatures caused the unauthorized ‘take’ of ESA-listed Snake River sockeye in 2015,” the signatories state.
Idaho Rivers United, Idaho Conservation League and Golden Eagle Audubon Society filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Boise today, faulting the U.S. Forest Service for approving the CuMo mining project without taking sufficient steps to protect water quality and rare flower habitat.
Idaho Rivers United yesterday sent a 60-day notice of its intent to sue Ada County for ongoing infractions of the federal Clean Water Act. The notice, mailed Wednesday, Dec. 2, charges the county with failing to obtain a Clean Water Act permit to discharge stormwater into the Boise River at Expo Idaho.
A new report commissioned by IRU concludes that stormwater managers will be wise to invest further in green stormwater systems because they'll be more cost-effective over the long haul and provide additional benefits that traditional stormwater systems can't.
A new community-generated plan recommends collaborative action to enhance fish and wildlife habitat and reduce pollution and flood risk on the Boise River. The Boise River Enhancement Plan recommends short and long term actions.
A system of outdated dams and locks on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington state is in continued and serious economic decline, according to two reports released this week by Save Our wild Salmon and Idaho Rivers United.
In a strongly-worded letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Idaho Rivers United and nine allies scolded the federal agency’s regional director for spreading misinformation about dams on the lower Snake River.
On Monday, Oct. 5, the U.S. Forest Service issued a Decision Notice authorizing the next phase of exploration for the CuMo Project in the Grimes Creek watershed in the headwaters of the Boise River.
About 300 paddlers cheered Saturday morning as the words, “FREE THE SNAKE,” were unfurled in 10-foot-tall block letters across the stagnant waters held back by lower Granite Dam.
Citing a host of environmental concerns raised by IRU and its allies, the federal government yesterday recommended denial of an application seeking to build a 109-foot-tall hydroelectric dam on the Bear River in southeast Idaho.
BOISE—A federal judge in Boise affirmed Wild and Scenic values today when he blocked, for now, a proposal to haul logs through part of the Selway River Wild and Scenic corridor.
Idaho Rivers United and allied organizations returned to federal district court in Portland June 23 to argue that the government’s insufficient and misdirected strategies for restoring Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead are illegal.
A federal sockeye salmon recovery plan released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration places too much long-term dependence on hatchery operations rather than in-river survival improvements needed for species recovery.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comments on a proposed plan to improve water quality in the lower Boise River in southwest Idaho.
The Boise River Enhancement Network (BREN) has released a draft plan that recommends cooperative ecological enhancement of the Lower Boise River and will be holding public workshops on the draft on June 2 from 2 – 4:30 p.m. at 720 Park Blvd in Boise and on June 4 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at 2208 E Chicago in Caldwell. Public comment on the draft will be accepted for eight weeks.
Following a four-month nationwide search, Boise resident Mark Blaiser has been hired to serve as IRU’s new executive director. Blaiser, who has more than 15 years’ experience working in the environmental field and with other non-profits, is set to start work on June 1. He will succeed Executive Director Bill Sedivy, who is leaving IRU after 16 years to pursue other professional goals.