Libby Dam at full powerhouse capacity for approximately two weeks

Press Release
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Water managers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with federal, tribal, and state fishery biologists, have determined that spring run-off conditions warrant the
commencement of required flow augmentation at Libby Dam, Montana, for endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon downstream in Idaho.

The flow augmentation operation includes increasing outflows to full powerhouse capacity for approximately two weeks to provide river conditions that may increase sturgeon spawning success in the lower Kootenai River.

Outflows began on Thursday, May 13, as local Kootenai River tributaries downstream of Libby Dam are forecasted to peak.
Discharge from Libby Dam will increase to full powerhouse capacity, approximately 25,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), and remain at that level for about two weeks before decreasing to a summer flow no less than 7,000 cfs, the bull trout minimum flow associated with Koocanusa Reservoir’s inflow forecast.

The sturgeon flow augmentation operation is part of a collaborative and ongoing effort by regional biologists to
enhance migration and spawning conditions for sturgeon in the Kootenai River near Bonners Ferry.

Increased flows are intended to provide river conditions that may increase sturgeon migration to the reach of river upstream of Bonners Ferry in habitat known to be conducive to successful spawning, egg hatching, and survival of larval sturgeon.

While the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho’s conservation
aquaculture program has steadily increased the number of young sturgeon in the river since 1992, federal, state, and tribal partners have collaborated in recent years to construct instream habitat upstream of Bonners Ferry intended to
provide conditions that will allow adult sturgeon, both wild and those released into the river through the conservation aquaculture program, to successfully reproduce on their own.

The sturgeon operation requires a volume of water
to be released from Libby Dam based on the May water
supply forecast for the Koocanusa Reservoir.  The May
water supply forecast for April-August inflow volume is
5.19 million-acre-feet, or 88 percent of average, which
sets the sturgeon volume at 0.8 million-acre-feet this year.

The latest projections indicate a minimal chance of
exceeding flood stage at Bonners Ferry, which is 1,764 feet.

The dam’s flow and stage projections are based on
National Weather Service ensemble forecasts and are
updated frequently during runoff season as weather and
conditions change.

Forecast modeling includes information on elevations, outflow, and Bonners Ferry seasonal elevation and peak height for the year.

To see the latest projections, visit:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ primary consideration in operating Libby Dam is to minimize risk to human life, health, and safety, while meeting the dam’s multiple purposes and responsibilities.

The Corps will closely monitor Kootenai River elevation
in Bonners Ferry during the sturgeon flow augmentation
|and will adjust operations with the aim of staying below 1,764 feet, the local flood stage.

Local Electrical Engineer Leaves Legacy for Lincoln County, $1.2 Million
legacy gift to provide benefit in perpetuity through endowment funding

Submitted by
Montana Community Foundation


Helena, Mont., May 10, 2021 – Lifetime resident of Libby, Robert (Bob) Pedersen, was the man to call when you had an electrical issue to be solved. Now he leaves a lasting impact in the place he loved through a legacy gift which will forever benefit Lincoln County.  Mr. Pederson’s $1.2 million estate gift creates the Robert G. Pedersen Endowment, a permanent fund that will provide approximately $50,000 annually for the Libby area by 2024.

“We are so grateful to Mr. Pedersen for giving back to the Libby community in this way and supporting our mission of showing we care, today and tomorrow. We are humbled to be selected as a beneficiary of his generosity that will benefit Lincoln County now and for future generations,” says Paula Darko-Hensler, Chairperson of Lincoln County Community Foundation, an affiliate of MCF.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation and the Libby School District were also among the recipients of gifts from the Robert G. Pedersen estate. Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation received $233,000 to support the hospital in its efforts to meet the ever-changing medical needs of the community. Libby School District received $52,000 to support the student scholarship fund. Both organizations have expressed their deepest gratitude for Bob’s generosity.

“We are thrilled to be helping people leave their legacies for the good of Montana forever. It is an honor to be entrusted with this gift and the important work of helping ensure Mr. Pedersen’s wishes are carried out,” said Mary Rutherford, MCF President & CEO. “This gift is a testament to the power of legacy and legacy giving to positively impact Montana communities.”

Bob was born and raised in Libby and often took advantage of the great outdoors as an avid fisherman and hunter, most often with his brother Ron by his side. He went to school in Libby and graduated from Libby High School in 1948. Upon graduation, Bob worked briefly at J. Neils Lumber Company before enlisting in the Air Force where he learned how to repair the cameras being used on the B-29’s. Four years later, he enrolled as a student at Gonzaga University where he graduated first in his class with a degree in electrical engineering. Bob then returned to Libby where he spent his career working for the J. Neils Lumber Company and St. Regis Lumber Company and lived in his childhood home up until a few years prior to his passing on September 29, 2020, at age 89. Friends and community members recall many times when the mill was entirely shutdown for mechanical problems and Bob was consulted to help due to his uncanny ability to get the mill up and running again.

Grants from the Robert G. Pedersen Endowment are not yet available. The Lincoln County Community Foundation will announce when the first grant cycle begins in 2022.

Bob’s lawyer, David Harman, and personal representative and close friend, Larry King, were responsible for providing suggestions and settling the estate according to Bob’s wishes.

Learn more about the Lincoln County Community Foundation at mtcf.org/local-cfs/lincoln-county-community-foundation.

To learn more about legacy giving, visit www.mtcf.org or contact MCF at (406) 443-8313.

Libby Chamber 1st Annual
Beer Run fast approaching

The Libby Area Chamber of
Commerce will be hosting a 5K Libby Beer Run on June 5th, 2021 at J. Neils Memorial Park. Participants will run 3 miles (2 laps) or walk 1.5 miles (1 lap), and taste 5 craft Montana brews along the way.

After the race there will be a Block Party featuring prizes, music, food, drinks, and more fun!

To participate in the race, pick up registration form at the Chamber  Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., or visit www.libbychamber.org.

Each race participant will receive a free souvenir; if you are not registered by Friday, May 21, a souvenir cannot be guaranteed.

All proceeds from this race will
be used to support the Libby Area Chamber of Commerce in its mission to promote and support the business community, stimulate a vibrant and
collaborative local economy, and to enhance the quality of life in the
greater Libby area.

If you have any questions,
please contact the Chamber Office at
293-4167 or info@libbychamber.org.