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Water Contractor Nevada Irrigation District Ignores Environment

Nevada Irrigation District (NID) has plans to build two new dams on the Bear River to once again increase its bottom line at the expense of the environment. Their plans seem a little premature when they have proven to be anything but good stewards of the two dams they have on Auburn Ravine, blocking three runs of salmon from reaching prime spawning gravels. NID has made happy talk about providing fish passage for years and former NID General Manager Ron Nelson did manage to drag his board into providing fish passage over the Lincoln Gauging Station so salmon could advance two miles up Auburn Ravine to NID’s Hemphill Dam, which is now the barrier preventing the salmon below it from getting over to spawn. The new management continues the old happy talk. The biggest barrier to fish passage is the Gold Hill Dam over which NID refuses, so far, to even talk about creating fish passage. If NID ever starts looking at fish passage straight on and provides for the salmon in Auburn Ravine blocked by its two dams, then maybe it has earned the right to think about two more dams blocking Bear River fish passage. Former NID General Manager Ron Nelson worked tirelessly to turn around the negative image it had for decades with some success; the new management has managed to reverse that progress in a very short time and once again NID has image issues. Until it helps Auburn Ravine salmon get over its dams, NID maintains its self-imposed state of paralysis and hopes that somehow salmon on their own will miraculously fly over its dams.

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