In 2008, the Idaho legislature voted unanimously to spend $400,000 to study replacing "Teton Dam storage." Since then, TU has worked consistently to urge the State and Bureau of Reclamation to spend state and federal funds on a more productive study. TU launched its campaign by creating a 7-minute video on the canyon, its resources, and the threats of development, showing it to hundreds of people at public meetings, chapter meetings, and other community gatherings. TU's Idaho Water Project staff also worked behind the scenes, lobbying state and federal leaders for a more responsible, useful study that takes into account changing demographics, climate and other factors. Asked by BOR officials what kind of Teton study it could support, TU offered these recommendations:
After months of talks, TU was able to persuade Reclamation and the State to broaden the study, now called the Henry's Fork Special Study and expanded under the BOR's WaterSmart planning process, which takes into account environmental factors and innovative alternatives to storage. This was a major victory for TU and other groups pushing for a more comprehensive, innovative and river-friendly study.
The Henry's Fork Special Study is looking at 16 storage alternatives in the Henry's Fork basin. TU staff members are actively involved in the study process, working to eliminate unwise storage alternatives and advocating for innovative alternatives such as water markets, municipal conservation, and strategic aquifer recharge opportunities.