Bear River Development

Photo credit: USFWS|||||| Photo credit: USFWS|||||| ||||||


Y2U continues to attend all public meetings regarding the development of the Bear River. We are resisting plans for developing dams on Bonneville cutthroat trout streams in the Bear River Range and on the Bear River itself. In the spring of 2017, PacifiCorp (the largest dam operator on the Bear River) proposed raising Cutler Dam in Cache County by 3 feet to provide more hydroelectricity generation and water storage capacity. In August of 2018 Y2U secured the funding needed for a GIS analysis on the area potentially impacted by the proposal. We have hired a leading expert in GIS Analysis and expect to have the analysis finished by the end of 2019. There are concerns that the project will inundate productive farmland and crucial wetland habitat in Cache County. Additionally, questions have arisen as to how this will accelerate the drying up of the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem and what adverse effects the project may have on Cache County road infrastructure and Logan City’s sewage treatment facility. Y2U is working with Cache County, Logan City and a local farmer group to
continue monitoring this project.

Y2U also continues to monitor the activities of the newly formed Cache Water District. Y2U staff members attended the Northern Utah Water Conference in the spring of 2019. Recent announcements by the Utah Division of Water Resources calls for up to six (6) additional dams to be built on the Bear River to provide water for growth along the Wasatch Front. Two of these proposed dams are in Cache County including Temple Fork and Cub River. Y2U will oppose any new dams on the Bear River or its tributaries.

Work Plan

  • Y2U is working with Chris McGinty, a Geographic Information Science (GIS) expert at Utah State University to conduct a GIS analysis of the proposal. This analysis will be complete by the end of 2019.
  • Y2U continues to monitor PacifiCorp’s FERC relicensing process. We are in direct contact with PacifiCorp’s Cutler Dam project lead, Eve Davies.
  • Y2U will monitor the Utah Division of Water Resources in regard to building additional dams on the Bear River and its tributaries. We will advocate against any new dams.

Expected Outcome

During the FERC relicensing process, use the GIS analysis to inform and provide critical data on the project’s impact to critical migratory bird habitat, local agricultural operations, and city infrastructure.