On his intrepid trip down the Colorado River, explorer John Wesley Powell stated, “We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not.”
Much like early river exploration, there are unknown obstacles up ahead for our beloved valley. None of us could have foreseen that a global pandemic would ultimately lead to another development boom in our region. We had no idea that this boom would be coupled with rapidly expanding outdoor recreation pressure. Nor could we have known that we would also be facing record drought conditions, and the challenges this brings for farmers and fish.
We do know that thanks to the extraordinary support of our donors, members, and partners like the Community Foundation of Teton Valley, Friends of the Teton River (FTR) is poised to rise to the challenge.
Because of the generosity of our community, FTR has continued to build our financial, technical, and human capacity. In the upcoming year, we will be embarking on our biggest, most complicated, and most expensive stream channel, fish passage, and flow restoration projects to date, permanently re-opening vital spawning ground for native trout while providing a sustainable source of water for irrigators. We are taking on new roles in responsible recreation education to ensure our valley’s most precious resource exists for future generations to enjoy. We are engaged in leading-edge fisheries and genetics research to better understand the threats to our native trout populations.
Together with our community, we will face these challenges head-on. Despite the obstacles, we will continue working to ensure a lasting legacy of healthy streams, clean water, and a thriving wild fishery. Thank you for the vital role you play in this ongoing work.