Video spotlight

Watch: New film documents removing 6 dams to restore 6 miles of the Price River

“The Price of Water” details the long-term process, costs and partnerships required to open up the river to recreation in Central Utah

Trout Unlimited launched a new film detailing the multi-year process and partnerships that sparked a renewal along the Price River and its adjacent communities in Central Utah. After years of negotiation and fundraising, the $3.5 million Helper Revitalization Project was completed in 2023 after the Gigliotti Dam was finally removed, allowing a large portion of the Price River to once again flow free.

“The Price of Water is really a story about a community coming together to transform the Price River after a century of damming, diversions, and drought,” said Jordan Nielson, Utah state director at Trout Unlimited. “After a lot of planning and negotiation between community leaders and state and federal agencies, we were able to open up about 6 miles of the Price River on time and under budget – saving $2.5 million in the process!”

Helper City, historically a coal mining and rail community, has already received immediate outdoor recreation and economic benefits resulting from this project, in addition to habitat improvements for priority species such as the Colorado River cutthroat trout and bluehead sucker.

TU staff and Helper City officials secured $1.5 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $250,000 from the Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation, and another $250,000 through the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative to remove the structure over the winter.

In recognition of the local community’s dedication to their local watershed, TU was proud to present Helper City with our first Community Action Towards Conservation and Habitat (CATCH) Award during the Helper Arts Festival in 2023.

Although the long-term plan is to continue to build upon this momentum with additional phases of work, this project currently stands as a prime example of how federal infrastructure funding is benefitting rural communities.