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Idaho Conservation League comments on environmental impact study

sockeye salmon
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A draft environmental impact study is available for public input until the end of today, Monday, April 13.

The study looked into options to keep endangered species safe and maintain power generated by dams in the lower Snake River.

The Fall River Electric Cooperative is encouraging members to support the preferred alternative option laid out in the study, which modifies four dams to help with salmon and trout passage.

The cooperative argues that option will keep cost of energy low and maintain reliable power.

But the Idaho Conservation League believes altering the dams is not enough to protect the endangered sockeye salmon and steelhead trout.

The ICL believes affordable electricity and protecting endangered species are intertwined.

“A really strong argument can be made actually, that if we don’t save salmon, then electricity rates will really go up. So figuring out how to save salmon and replace the electricity that’s generated by these dams in an economical and efficient way, that’s the sweet spot,” said ICL executive director Justin Hayes.

See the ICL's full statement here. Read Fall River Electric's statement here.

You can comment on the issue here.

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Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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