Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BRIEFS


Trout Unlimited to host ‘redband’ trout recovery presentation
    The Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited will host a presentation on recovery of redbound trout, Idaho’s native rainbow trout variety, in Owyhee Basin at the organization’s next monthly meeting on Thursday, May 1.
    The meeting will run from 5-7 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques’ Restaurant & Nightclub on Main Street in Ketchum. The public is invited. Admission is free.
    The presentation will be given by Pam Harrington, Trout Unlimited Southwest Idaho restoration coordinator. A news release states that she will discuss the TU Owyhee Basin Redband Trout Home Waters Initiative and work under way to restore and protect redband trout in remote waters of Owyhee County.


Idaho ‘first lady’ joins Syringa school advisory board
    Syringa Mountain School announced Monday that Idaho First Lady Lori Otter has joined the advisory board of the new school, set to open this fall as the only charter school in Blaine County.
    Otter submitted a letter of support for the new school when its establishment was approved in 2013 by the Idaho Charter School Commission.
    Otter is a former teacher and school administrator.
    “Syringa Mountain School is honored the first lady has agreed to assist us in an advisory capacity to support our efforts in establishing this school of choice for Idaho families,” states a school news release.
    The school is scheduled to open next fall in Hailey.


IRU helps win flows for scenic Twin Falls waterfall
     The nonprofit groups Idaho Rivers United and American Rivers have stopped Idaho Power Co.’s plans to eliminate flows over the 130-foot Twin Falls during certain times of year.
     On April 17, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled in favor of Idaho Rivers United and American Rivers, who argued the Idaho Power proposal would “eliminate the unique photography and viewing opportunities as well as reduce the number of visitors spending money in the local area.”
     Idaho Power had proposed to eliminate flows completely from Sept. 1 to March 31 and in the early-morning and late-evening hours from April 1 to Aug. 31.
     FERC ruled that the economic benefit to Idaho Power of completely diverting the river at the Twin Falls Project does not outweigh the loss of aesthetic and recreational opportunities on the Snake River.
     At 130 feet tall, Twin Falls is one of the three largest waterfalls on the Snake River. Before 1935, all of the Snake River plummeted over Twin Falls, which consisted of a north and south falls divided by a large bedrock outcropping. When Idaho Power began operating the Twin Falls Project in 1935, all of the flow over the south falls was diverted into the powerhouse.
    In 1995, Idaho Power expanded the hydropower project and also eliminated most of the flow from the north falls. Following the successful protest by Idaho Rivers United and American Rivers, however, the new FERC license requires Idaho Power to release 300 cubic feet per second to sustain the north falls.




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