Corps & Water Resource Board Study New Dams on Boise River


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Idaho Water Resource Board have narrowed to three their preferred sites for new water storage dams on the Boise River: Arrowrock (where they're proposing a new downstream dam that's 74 feet higher), Alexander Flats on the Middle Fork of the Boise (where there would be a proposed new 265-foot dam) and Twin Springs, also on the Middle Fork (where there would be a proposed new 365-foot dam).

The Corps and the IDWR are holding a series of informational meetings this week on their latest feasibility study: one this afternoon at Boise City Hall, another this evening at Eagle City Hall, and another tomorrow evening in Idaho City. The three were culled from 12 possible sites.

Meanwhile, outside the City Hall meeting, members of Idaho Rivers United were expressing their anxiety over the proposal.

"The state of Idaho and the Corps have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on these feasibility studies, " said Bill Sedivy, the group's executive director, "at a time when neither the state nor the government has a lot of loose cash hanging around."

Sedivy says his groups' main concerns include the priceless recreational value of the Middle and North forks of the Boise River.

"One of the reasons our region has been so economically successful, and environmentally vibrant is because of our proximity to the river," said Sedivy. "If they get serious about these new dams, we're going to lose all that."

One issue both sides agree on is encouraging public comment, which is being solicited until July 31. The next step will be the Corps of Engineers and IDWR drafting, which is expected to be the final feasibility evaluation, pending adequate federal and state funding.