Republican Sen. Larry Craig is stepping down from the U.S. Senate, but he will leave one last water bill waiting in the next Congress.
Hidden deep among a giant package of nearly 150 public lands bills that the Senate could consider as soon as January is a plan to spend $3 million to study the feasibility of new dam and reservoir projects on the Snake, Boise and Payette rivers in Idaho.
Craig's proposal would allow the Bureau of Reclamation to study projects like rebuilding the Teton Dam, building a Twin Springs dam in the Middle Fork of the Boise watershed and adding new storage projects anywhere in the Snake Basin. The money would pay for any necessary environmental documentation, cost-benefit analyses and engineering work. If a project is found to be feasible, Reclamation or the project sponsors could then seek congressional authorization for project construction.
The proposal is part of a massive bill that includes GOP Sen. Mike Crapo's Owyhee Canyonlands bill and a Snake River Wild and Scenic Rivers bill for Wyoming.
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