By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY – Eastern Idaho's Teton River has been named one of the most endangered in the U.S. by the conservation group American Rivers. The Teton is a tributary of the Henry's Fork River, which runs into the Snake. The endangered designation results from a proposal to rebuild the Teton Dam. A study of that proposal and of other ways to increase water supplies in the area will take place this year. Amy Verbeten with the nonprofit group Friends of the Teton River says that the focus on options aside from building a dam is a good step, "I think that when people come together and we consider options such as water conservation, water optimization, we're able to have both free-flowing streams and enough water for all of the human needs."
The Teton Dam failed in 1976. Verbeten says rebuilding it would hurt Yellowstone cutthroat trout, which spawn in the river. She says Friends of the Teton River and other groups have yet to receive specific information about how water from the dam project would be used, and how much would be diverted.