The proposal to rebuild Teton Dam in eastern Idaho’s rugged Teton Canyon (a fantastic native trout fishery) isn’t very popular with the people of Idaho, according to a new poll conducted by American Rivers. The survey found that, when presented with options, Idahoans rejected Teton Dam by a 2-to-1 margin in favor of alternatives such as enhanced water efficiency and conservation. As Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker noted, “The poll shows residents of Southeast Idaho prefer making improvements in water efficiency to rebuilding Teton Dam by a margin of 63 to 26 percent.”
Cost is one overriding factor — a new dam would be enormously expensive — but Barker also observed that Teton Canyon is a “world-class trout fishery,” and that tourism and outdoors recreation have become much more important to the economy of eastern Idaho.
Are the political leaders in Idaho listening?