Idaho Rivers United is a conservation organization representing all who love the freedom, adventure and solitude of Idaho’s rivers. Our mission is to protect and restore the rivers of Idaho.

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Kevin Lewis
(208) 343-7481

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Comments › Laws, court cases, and filings   7/2/2021

Felt Dam Draft License Application Comment


News and updates from Idaho Rivers UnitedAll news


What happens to fish populations when dams are removed?

In 2014, the final pieces of two dams on the Elwha River in Washington were removed. The famous river restoration and fish recovery story was decades in the making and culminated in what is now a free-flowing Elwha from its source high in Olympic National Park to the sea. The river became a living laboratory […]


Army Corps Required to Limit Hot Water Pollution from Lower Snake Dams

In September the EPA issued discharge permits to the Army Corps of Engineers that will limit hot water and oil pollution stemming from the four Lower Snake River dams. This is a significant step in the effort to cool down river temperatures that are lethal to migrating salmon and steelhead. The Corps, which operates the […]


New Momentum Builds for Idaho Salmon Recovery

Congressman Mike Simpson jump-started the regional conversation among elected officials and stakeholders with his ambitious Columbia Basin Initiative. While it received support from OR Governor Kate Brown and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the tepid response from the rest of the region was underwhelming. However, recent activity has not only renewed hopes of restoring the lower Snake […]


Press Release: Fishing, recreation advocates topple critical Trump-era Clean Water Act federal power grab

Late last night, fishing and recreation advocates won a significant victory for clean water when a federal district court threw out (vacated) a critical Trump Clean Water Act rule. Today’s order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California restores state and Tribal authority to ensure federally permitted activities in rivers and lakes comply fully with state and tribal law. The Biden administration had planned to revise the rule to an unknown degree through a years-long public process. This court decision erases the Trump rule completely and immediately.


Press Release: Snake River: Conservation & Fishing Groups Agree to Pause Litigation, Discuss Long-Term, Comprehensive Solution to Aid Struggling Salmon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2021 Media Contact Maggie Caldwell, Earthjustice,, (347) 527-6397 Todd True, Earthjustice,, (206) 406-5124 Snake River: Conservation & Fishing Groups Agree to Pause Litigation, Discuss Long-Term, Comprehensive Solution to Aid Struggling Salmon Federal agencies agree to stop-gap measures for dam operations in 2022 Portland, OR – Earthjustice, on behalf […]


Idaho’s 2021 salmon and steelhead returns are abysmal. What is happening?

This year’s returns for Idaho’s salmon and steelhead have been abysmal. Columbia Basin steelhead returns are the lowest ever recorded since salmon run counts began at Bonneville Dam in 1945, falling 57% short of the already anemic pre-season run predictions. Fishing closures and restrictions have been implemented throughout the region, impacting guides, outfitters, and the […]


Regional Conservation Groups Resolve Litigation Over Water Quality Impacts Caused by the Hells Canyon Complex

For Immediate Release September 2, 2021 Media Contacts: Greg Haller, Pacific Rivers: and (208) 790-4105 Nic Nelson, Idaho Rivers United: and (208) 343-7481 Regional Conservation Groups Resolve Litigation Over Water Quality Impacts Caused by the Hells Canyon Complex The settlement forces the state of Oregon to develop a plan to limit dangerous methylmercury […]


Simpson’s Columbia Basin Initiative contains central tenets of Democratic Party, yet Democratic leadership remains silent

Environmental restoration, social justice, clean-energy measures, and endangered species recovery: these sound like pillars of the Democratic platform, yet an Idaho Republican is championing these efforts in the Pacific Northwest. Congressman Mike Simpson put forth a far-reaching proposal in the spring of this year that included removing the four Lower Snake River Dams. His proposal, […]


IRU, Partners, File Injunction to Increase Spill and Lower Reservoir Levels to Aid Endangered Snake River Salmon

Earthjustice, representing Idaho Rivers United and several of our partner conservation organizations, filed an injunction today to increase spill over dams in the Lower Snake River and Columbia River, and to lower reservoir levels to aid juvenile migrating salmon. Salmon rely on cold, fast-moving currents for a successful migration, disrupted by slackwater reservoirs and the […]


Low Water Years Spell Trouble for Salmon: 2021 is no exception

Low Water Years Like 2021 Spell Trouble for Salmon Drought conditions across much of the West mean it is an extremely low-water year, which spells trouble for salmon migrating back to Idaho. Big snow years and mild spring temperatures with a stable snowpack deep into summer have become rare due to the warming climate, meaning […]