Not much support for rebuilding the Teton Dam

Survey of Eastern Idaho residents shows them generally against rebuilding-

The deadly collapse of the Teton Dam east of Rexburg, Idaho, in June 1976 was one of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s worst moments. Conservationists had been fighting the dam as a waste of money and destruction of a beautiful fishing stream.  The canyon was also filled with wildlife, especially in the winter.

No one thought it would collapse, but the dam fell apart as soon as they filled it. Eleven people drowned and there was a billion dollars damage. Incredible as it my seem, some local irrigators started agitating to rebuild. It was an unpleasant joke, but most forgot about it until recently when some “penny pinching” members of the Idaho legislature starting saying it should be rebuilt, hopefully by Uncle Sucker.

American Rivers commissioned a poll in the area. They found a slight majority in favored of rebuilding the dam, but when presented with an alternative, greater efficiency of water use, the number were strongly against it.

Given the economic climate it is hard to see how Congress would appropriate a billion dollars to rebuild this structure. Rocky Barker has a full story on his blog in the Idaho Statesman.

Deer prions could jump to humans, study says

Currently Chronic Wasting Disease does not infect humans, but . . .

Chronic wasting disease is spreading more and more widely.  Our anti-conservation friends in the Department of Livestock and the various anti-wolf groups worry about brucellosis and dog tapeworms, but here is something that would be truly terrifying. Prions jumped from sheep probably to cows to cause “mad cow disease.”  Then it jumped to humans.  Scientists worry the same could happen to the prions that destroy the brains of deer, elk, and moose and remain in the soil, infectious, for so long it might as well be forever.

Deer prions could jump, study says. Scientists fear chronic wasting disease protein could spawn new human illness. By John Fauber of the Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI)