Teton and Lewis and Clark County residents and businesses have good reason to advocate for this project. The Gibson Dam Hydroelectric Company “Gibson Hydro” has spent many years formulating a project that would benefit local communities in ways previous attempts to develop the hydropower have failed.


    Once completed, the project will supply a new 50-100 year source of stable public income every year in the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars each for Teton and Lewis and Clark Counties. There is also long term revenue for the state of Montana and the federal government.


    Gibson Hydro will implement a number of novel environmental enhancements not currently in place. Many state and federal agencies came together to help Gibson Hydro formulate custom enhancements associated with the hydropower project. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission noted in its decision to issue a license to Gibson Hydro that “the required environmental measures will protect and enhance fish and wildlife resources, water quality, recreational and aesthetic resources, and historic properties” (FERC 2012, 23). Examples of these measures include an Avian Protection Plan, a Transmission Line Management Plan, a Noxious Weed Plan, Visual Resources Design, Wetland Survey and Protection, and a Historic Properties Management Plan. When the project is constructed it will begin displacing the equivalent of 3 million gallons of diesel and 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.


    When the project is constructed, the Greenfields Irrigation District will receive a new source of revenue than can be used to maintain or improve irrigation infrastructure, enhance water usage efficiencies, and buffer against future costs. The added revenue supports families and operations affiliated with GID.


    During construction there will be a seasonal increase in construction jobs and a need for materials and local goods and services. The estimate is 15-25 construction workers at any given time, 1 million in local purchases over a two year period, and 4-5 million in wages derived from the construction phase. Most of the workers, managers, and consultants working at the site will already live permanently in nearby towns or would be housed there temporarily.


    The Gibson Dam Hydroelectric Project diversifies and strengthens the local economy because it uniquely partners with local organizations and directly contributes a novel source of long-term stability to the area through multiple economic and environmental channels.