Idaho Rivers United Timeline

Idaho Rivers United is a Boise-based non-profit that protects and restores the rivers of Idaho.

Click the "X" above or "Continue" below to enter the IRU timeline, which chronicles many of our accomplishments from July 1990 through present. ;xNLx;;xNLx;You can view the timeline in 3d or 2d by clicking on the small white circle in the lower left corner. You then navigate by dragging the green box at the bottom of the page or by clicking and dragging items within the primary timeline window.

1988-07-01 00:00:00

Let's start at the beginning

Wendy Wilson and friends launch Friends of the Payette, a group of whitewater boaters and others dedicated to protecting the Payette River system from dams. Passion for this localized issue stirs the idea for statewide river conservation.

1989-07-01 00:00:00

The winds of change

River advocates from around the state meet at a Garden City sandwich shop and at the Christensen ranch in Stanley. These efforts highlight an obvious need for an organization dedicated to Idaho rivers.

1990-01-12 00:00:00

IRU on the Payette

Future Idaho Rivers United staff and members join Friends of the Payette and the Idaho Whitewater Association in a campaign to save the North Fork of the Payette River from dams. This marks IRU's first campaign and the beginning of a long journey of river protection.

1990-07-09 00:00:00

Idaho Rivers United founded

Idaho Rivers United incorporates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the state's rivers.

1991-04-03 04:43:54

Salmon in peril

IRU begins to tackle the salmon crisis and launches its Wild Salmon Project. Sockeye salmon are federally listed as an endangered species: only 4 sockeye return to Redfish Lake. US Sen. Mark Hafield's Salmon Summit concludes with no clear path for Columbia and Snake river salmon recovery articulated.

1991-07-06 04:43:54

Two new dams stopped

IRU uses grassroots organizing techniques to help stop the controversial Twin Springs Dam and another proposed dam on the Bear River. Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus signs the first version of the Payette River Plan, protecting the Payette River system from new dams and designating significant portions of the Payette as state protected rivers.

1992-01-01 13:11:26

IRU member count

Six-hundred individuals and 20 organizations become part of the IRU community in under two years.

1992-05-20 04:43:54

Lonesome Larry looks for love

One year after sockeye salmon are listed as an endangered species, only one salmon returns to Redfish Lake. He is christened Lonseome Larry. IRU announces intent to sue the federal government over salmon declines.

1992-10-29 04:43:54

Saving rivers across the state

IRU organizes grassroots efforts and works with allied groups to help protect numerous Idaho waterways as state protected rivers. They include the Priest River and its tributaries, 200 miles of the Henry’s Fork, 100 miles of the Payette River, 71 miles of the Snake River and 172 miles on the Boise River.

1992-12-13 23:17:58

A new leader in policy reform

IRU leads efforts to reform 100 years of development-oriented water policy. This reform includes increased emphasis on modern values like recreation, water quality, aquatic bio-diversity and consideration of public trust. IRU is victorious in modifying some policies, including the addition of water conservation and river restoration objectives in state plans. IRU helps stop two destructive and unnecessary hydropower projects in the Henry's Fork basin of east Idaho.

Idaho Rivers United Timeline

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