On May 2, 2015, Idaho Legislators, water planners, farmers, property owners, conservationists and recreationists met upstream from Weiser, Idaho, to get a close up look at the free-flowing Weiser River, the Weiser River Trail and the proposed site of the largest new dam considered in Idaho in decades.
Nearly 40 people attended the first Weiser River & Trail Appreciation Day, including Idaho Senators Abby Lee and Bert Brackett and Representatives Ryan Kerby, Donna Pence and Phylis King. Three members of the Idaho Water Resource Board, Chairman Roger Chase, Al Barker and Chuck Cuddy, also attended. The Board is the state agency investigating construction of the 282-foot high dam that’s estimated to cost more than $500 million.
The three-hour-tour of the approximately 20-mile-long section of the Weiser River that would be inundated if the dam was built was hosted by the Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Rivers United, Weiser River Resource Council, Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, and Friends of the Weiser River Trail. The groups all have concerns about damming the river including dam costs, dam safety, impacts to local farmers and ranchers, lost recreation opportunities and impacts to the river ecosystem.