Salmon-Challis Water Diversions

Salmon-Challis Water Diversions

Current Status:

Case Title:
Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-00216-EJL (D.Idaho 2014).

Staff attorney(s):
Bryan Hurlbutt


To Protect:

Chinook Salmon, steelhead, bull-trout

Date won/settled:
January 5, 2015


Case Information:

Advocates for the West is pleased to announce we settled this case against the Forest Service and NOAA Fisheries for failing to complete Endangered Species Act consultations for over 100 water diversions on streams in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho’s Upper Salmon River basin.  The Salmon-Challis National Forest is home to important populations of threatened Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.  However, many water diversions in the Forest consist of primitive structures that block entire streams and divert too much water, impeding the recovery of threatened fish.

Under the settlement, the Forest Service and NOAA have agreed to complete consultations for all 100+ diversions in batches over the next couple years.  This is great news for Idaho fish, as the consultations will help ensure that old diversion structures are replaced with modern diversion structures which allow fish to pass by and can accurately measure the amount of water diverted.  Staff Attorney Bryan Hurlbutt represented the Idaho Conservation League in this successful case.