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Extension of Season for Opportunities on the Snake River Milner Mile (ID)

Posted: 11/18/2010
by Thomas O'Keefe

Earlier this fall Idaho Power Company and Milner Dam, Inc., the licensees who operate the Milner Hydro Project, submitted a proposal to amend the requirements of their license to include April as a month when whitewater recreation can be provided on the Milner Mile. Local paddlers and AW were consulted in the development of this proposal. While the total number of available releases on this challenging class V run will remain capped at 4, they can now be provided over a longer 3 month period increasing the probability that adequate water will be available at some point during that time. Last week FERC formally approved this request stating this would enhance recreational opportunities on the Snake River.

As before paddlers will need to request flows through a reservation system and the new requirements are revised as follows to now include the month of April:

Article 415

Upon receiving a whitewater release request by two or more boaters by 3:00 p.m. on Friday before the weekend and after at least two boaters have checked in at the main powerhouse on the day of the whitewater release, the licensees shall not operate the main powerhouse, located 1.6 miles downstream of Milner Dam, for up to 4 weekend days (included is the observed Memorial Day holiday) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. between April 1 and June 30, when inflow to the Milner Project, in excess of irrigation demands, is between 10,000 and 12,500 cubic feet per second (cfs). Power operation will resume when inflow in excess of irrigation demand is greater than 12,500 cfs and utilize for generation any flows in excess of 12,500 cfs. The licensees are required by article 417 to provide a communication network used to predict the volume of streamflow that will be available for whitewater boating during April, May, and June.

The licensees shall file a report with the Commission by January 1 every other year beginning January 1, 2012, that lists by month for April through June 1) the total number of whitewater release requests received by the licensees, 2) the dates, times, and duration of when whitewater releases were made by the licensees, 3) the amount of flow provided by licensees through the bypass reach for each day whitewater releases were made, 4) the total number of boaters using the bypass reach observed by the licensees for each day whitewater releases were made, and 5) when applicable, the results of the November meeting required in ordering paragraph (C). Copies of the report shall be sent to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho Whitewater Association, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Rivers United, American Whitewater, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other interested parties. The Commission reserves the right to modify requirements of this article.

Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012


Associated Rivers

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Milner Whitewater (ID)
AW supports the efforts of local paddlers who have advocated for whitewater recreation on the Milner Mile.