After it became clear that a power outage and failed alarm system at the Barber Dam caused the Boise River to flow nearly dry for eight hours on February 4, Marie Callaway Kellner of the Idaho Conservation League began asking for action.
Ada County owns the dam and leases it to Enel Green Power, an international hydropower company. Along with members of other environmental groups, Callaway Kellner wants to see the county and Enel take responsibility for the accident by paying for a project to help the river’s ecology. Now, Callaway Kellner is one step closer to seeing that happen.
"To me it feels like a very big shift in only just a couple of weeks," says Callaway Kellner. "We now have Enel and the county jointly saying 'yes, we want to fund a project that is the benefit of the river and the fishery."
Ada County has put together an oversight group made up of environmental advocates like Callaway Kellner, as well as biologists from Idaho Fish and Game. Ada County and Enel have agreed to split the cost of a river restoration project the oversight group will choose this summer. Callaway Kellner says she's happy to see action on the issue, and hopes to see a project get underway this winter.
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