The Snake River Stewardship Program (SRSP) is a comprehensive program designed to address elevated water temperatures downstream from the Hells Canyon Complex. If these are not addressed, Idaho Power’s license to operate the Hells Canyon Complex could be jeopardized. A healthy Snake River also benefits irrigators, recreationists, fishery managers, and wildlife. The Snake River is also essential habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife, and Idaho Power is committed to making this as good as possible. There are three major components of the SRSP: instream restoration actions, restoring riparian vegetation, and implementing irrigation best management practices. Our group has performed a feasibility study of Idaho Power‘s options to support the second component of the SRSP. This includes three different options: 1. Idaho Power builds and runs nursery. 2. Idaho Power builds nursery and hires contractors to run it. 3. Idaho Power purchases all trees and shrubs from third party nurseries. Our first step was learning about native plant species and nursery operations. We toured Lucky Peak Nursery and met with the nursery manager and contacted several nurseries to determine plant costs, output capabilities, and which ones were potential candidates for contracting labor. We also contacted companies such as Gothic Arch Greenhouses, Stuewe & Sons, and Bouldin & Lawson to determine the price of constructing a greenhouse and the associated furniture and its costs. After the completion of our research, we determined option one, Idaho Power builds and runs their own nursery to be the most feasible. Over the course of the program, it is cost competitive and offers the most benefits. Our data and recommendation will help Idaho Power determine which option will ultimately work best for them. This will help ensure the success of the Snake River Stewardship Program and keep the Snake River healthy for all of us.
Smith, Christine; Jenson, Tyler; and Wagner, Melissa, "Snake River Stewardship Program" (2017). 2017 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference.