At 100,000 miles of waterways, Idaho has a treasure trove of incredible rivers. That also means Idaho has a lot to lose.
Idaho's rivers provide drinking water, recreation, hydroelectric power and crucial habitat for fish and other wildlife species. Idaho's rivers are the lifeblood of the state's cherished open spaces and wild country.
Nobody wants to see Idaho's rivers soiled or abused, but often there's a dramatic imbalance between the desires of hydroelectric companies, agribusiness, mining corporations and other interests and the sustainability of our unpolluted rivers and native fish populations.
At Idaho Rivers United, we take a comprehensive look at the many forces that impact rivers and fish, including dams, mining and municipal water use. We work to change unsustainable water policy. We initiate local campaigns and have offered grants for water conservation. We strive to place many of Idaho's untouched rivers under state protection or national Wild and Scenic designation.
Navigate the menus at left to further investigate our program areas including Wild Rivers, Wild Salmon, Water Policy and Urban River Stewardship.
Click here to get some fast facts about Idaho's rivers
- Idaho has 100,000 miles of rivers, which ranks it among the nation's top river states.
- Idaho has more than 3,100 miles of whitewater suitable for rafting, kayaking and canoeing.
- Idaho's rivers are home to 19 species of fish that are listed as endangered, threatened or of "special concern."
- 420,000 anglers fish on Idaho's rivers each year.
- Nealry 900 miles of Idaho's rivers are designated as Wild, Scenic or Recreational rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
- More than 2,000 miles of Idaho's rivers are designated as State Protected Rivers due to the efforts of Idaho Rivers United.
- More than 400 miles of Idaho's rivers have minimum stream flow water rights, which help protect fish, wildlife, water quality and recreational values.
- Idaho water produces nearly a third of the United States' potato crop.
- There are more than 232 major dams and 777 major irrigation diversions on Idaho's rivers.
- Hydro-power in Idaho generates enough electricity for 320,000 to 340,000 all-electric homes built to energy efficient standards (or 175,000 built to the present state standard).