Idaho’s new governor has another brand new idea fresh out of the 1940s — build more dams in Idaho to impound water.

It might sound great if you haven’t followed the issue for a generation.

Yes, there are dam sites left in Idaho, but there is not enough flow in the rivers to fill them.

Secondly he argues that rapid urban growth requires these dams, but most of Idaho’s extraordinary per capita consumption of water is from agriculture, not cities. There is plenty of existing storage and water in Idaho to accommodate future urban use.

Third, he wants Idahoans to pay for the new dams, forgetting the Idahoans have almost never paid for the many dams in the state, especially the irrigation dams. They were paid for by the taxpayers of the Unites States or private companies. They stopped building public dams in Idaho after the Teton Dam collapsed in 1976 as it was being filled for the first time, drowning 14 people and doing a billion dollars worth of damage. Most Idahoans and American taxpayers were fed up with with paying for these boondoggles.

Story in the Magic Valley Times-News. Governor Otter with a new idea from the distant past: build storage dams in Idaho.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

7 Responses to Idaho's governor: Build dams

  1. avatar kt says:

    Indeed, Governor OTTER is for water …. glad we have that straight.

    Otter’s mentality reminds me in a way of the neo-con behavior in Iraq after the Great Victory there. They were going to create their wondrous Kingdom of total no-holds-barred exploitation. In Idaho, one of the only remaining bastions of idiocy that has not soured on radical rightwing nonsense, Otter again with dams just like with wolf killing, trumpets a mainfest destiny destroy-all-in-your-path philosophy. The Idaho Republicans remain intent on acting out their sickest rape and pillage fantiases in Idaho. We need to make sure it is their downfall …

    AND Ralph – you haven’t said anything about greater than quarter million visits …

  2. avatar mike says:

    I’ve said it before; Butch is not intellectually capable of holding the offices that were bought for him with his marriage into the Simplot clan. He’s a fake, an imitation, an artifice of chance. He continues to delude himself that he earned his position and continues to hold forth as if he were some sort of leader. Sound familiar? It’s a common problem within his political party nationwide. You can inherit money and power through hired lawyers and accountants; but, it doesn’t mean any of the right genetic combinations go with it.

  3. avatar be says:

    it makes me wonder about the so-called ‘family-values’. butch marries into the simplot family – divorces simplot’s daughter – and maintains a succesful run for the governorship – simplot’s influence could have destroyed otter, and from my experience – ex-son-in-laws rarely garnish their ex-in-law’s favor.

    alas, a daughter’s love is not quite on par with maintaining and expanding the bottom line of the largest public-lands profiteer in the state. and with the leverage that the marriage, and the divorce afford, butch trucks on.

    what deals were struck to ensure his succesful bid? i fear that the only oversight of our public resources has been sold to the simplot corp. who’s access, oversight, and excersize of soveriegnty has eclipsed the public’s. that’s a hefty price, it’d be interesting to know the dirt that it paid to keep under the rug.

  4. avatar Andy T says:

    Well this story is interesting.
    A month into office, Idaho’s Otter governs from his gut. By John Miller. AP.

    http://tinyurl.com/yqthmh

    I remember them saying the same thing about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. I think it was Bob Woodward who said these guys make their decisions “from the gut, by instinct.”

    We see how well that has worked.

    How about people deciding things by the process of reasoning?

    Deciding from the gut is process for Butch Otter (and the wolves he dislikes so much).

  5. avatar kt says:

    The article linked in Andy T’s, post shows stan Boyd being lobbyist for the Elk Breeder’s. Certainly must be THE same Stan Boyd whose name is on the awful Idaho 2002 Wolf Plan, and who also was a Woolgrower head honcho, if I recall?

    See, for example Whining for Woolmen at: http://www.aginfo.com/reportView.cfm?recordid=1028 Those numbers aren’t inflated, or anything???

  6. avatar Resource User says:

    kt, did you help in any aspect of the wolf plan? How is it you know the Governor so well and all his family history? Related or just a gossip monger? Sounds like all of you need to run for public office, you know it all an have all the answers. What more could a voter ask for. Get a life! Try and participate instead of bitch about what you don’t like about life! The link does not work either.
    Water will be this states greatest and is this states greatest asset. Not only in Idaho are they talking about saving water. All over the west it’s like gold, man. No water, no crops, no food, no people. Water is the key to life. Why not conserve some where you can. At home, in the mountains, behind reserviors, water is needed not just here, but everywhere. Farmers used to have sisterns that are really reserviors. Collect rain water, collect snow run off. We need to use water wisley and work together to do it…..or some black robe wearing judge who knows nothing about water will dictate how we do so. None of us wants that!


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  7. avatar Webmaster says:

    Resource User,

    Who are you ?

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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