Regulators rule against proposed Bear River dam

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 3:48 PM


BOISE, Idaho— Irrigators who dream of a $27 million, 108-foot dam on southeastern Idaho’s Bear River lost an appeal aimed at allowing their project to proceed.

The Idaho Department of Water Resources announced its decision against the Twin Lakes Canal Co. on Thursday.

In July, the private canal company was denied a winter water right permit it needed for the dam, prompting its stockholders to ask Idaho regulators to reconsider.

But on Thursday, Water Resources administrator Gary Spackman reiterated the original findings: The proposed application would reduce the quantity of water under existing water rights, conflicting with local public interest.

Spackman has concluded damming the Oneida Narrows section of the Bear River near Preston would conflict with a multi-state water compact — and potentially infringe on rights of irrigators downstream in Utah.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.