The proposed 60-MW Hook Canyon project in Utah received a huge blow when the Governor of Utah decided that the voice of the general public and the value of the Bear lake for tourism and local ecosystem should not be compromised. Gov. Jon Huntsman recently directed the Division of State Parks and Recreation to drop negotiations for an easement, effectively killing the project.The proposed project was never received well by anyone.
Citing the project as expensive, inefficient and environmentally unsound, there has been a huge public opposition to the proposed Hook Canyon project which would require construction of a new 160 foot high dam on the Fish Hook Creek in Rich County, Utah. FERC granted a preliminary permit for the project in September 2006.
Hydro is at risk of being regarded as an 'unsustainable renewable' resource unless something is done to change significantly the existing, sometimes controversial, process of planning and siting projects. Hydro developers and funding/regulatory agencies should shift their focus from 'the project' to long-term hydro planning at river basin level. Engineers could make better decisions on which sites to investigate within river basins by collaborating with NGOs and other water resources stakeholders before proceeding with projects.