Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Elwha River free at last
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
vibramhead
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2010
Posts: 134 | TRs
Location: Olympic Peninsula
vibramhead
  Top

Member
PostWed Sep 03, 2014 6:18 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Last week, the last chunk of dam was blasted from the Elwha River in Olympic NP, allowing it to run free from the headwaters to the sea for the first time in a century.  This is cause for great celebration!

Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
NacMacFeegle
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 2638 | TRs
Location: United States
NacMacFeegle
  Top

Member
PostWed Sep 03, 2014 7:04 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

Great to hear that it's finally free!

--------------
Read my hiking related stories and more at http://illuminationsfromtheattic.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
DIYSteve
seeking hygge



Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 12656 | TRs
Location: here now
DIYSteve
  Top

seeking hygge
PostWed Sep 03, 2014 7:10 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
up.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
CHECKTHISOUT
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 204 | TRs

CHECKTHISOUT
  Top

Member
PostWed Sep 03, 2014 7:21 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 11579 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((>
PostWed Sep 03, 2014 7:37 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
article and ONP's newsletter HERE

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7812 | TRs
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
  Top

Snarky Member
PostThu Sep 04, 2014 11:10 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Pre-dam the salmon runs reportedly numbered over 400,000 per year vs 4,000 now.   It will be interesting to see how much recovery actually happens now that the dam is gone.

Given the cost of the removal project, it will be decades before before the cost per recovered fish drops below $10  -- But this project was more about providing (de)-construction jobs and improving the tourist economy in the sixth congressional district.

It will be fun to kayak the newly freed section of river -- I'm going to wait for a bit more of the decades of silt that collected behind the dam to wash down stream first.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((>



Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 11579 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((>
PostThu Sep 04, 2014 7:21 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I was on the phone talking with ONP's fisheries biologist one day not too terribly long ago when someone walked into his office and dropped a paper on his desk advising him that fish were returning to the river.
He was suddenly like a kid under the Christmas tree. Nobody had any idea things would happen so fast.
The Elwha supported some of the biggest runs on the Peninsula. If only half the runs become reestablished there will be fish aplenty.

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
vibramhead
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Mar 2010
Posts: 134 | TRs
Location: Olympic Peninsula
vibramhead
  Top

Member
PostThu Sep 04, 2014 7:55 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
RandyHiker wrote:
But this project was more about providing (de)-construction jobs and improving the tourist economy in the sixth congressional district.

I don't think the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe would agree with that.  They relied on the Elwha's salmon for thousands of years before the dams were put in.  In their 1855 treaty with the U.S. Government, they were promised that their fishing rights would be protected, but that promise was rendered meaningless 50 years later when the first dam went in.  The Tribe started fighting for removal of the dams long before anyone else did, and what happened last week is the culmination of their efforts.  It may be that Norm Dicks had other motives, but Dicks was just one player among many.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
sams rapids
Member
Member


Joined: 26 Dec 2009
Posts: 103 | TRs
Location: near the Queets
sams rapids
  Top

Member
PostThu Sep 04, 2014 9:03 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Fritz and I were there 10 days ago. He is a retired teacher and fish expert. We were standing on the bridge just below the hot springs road and watched a 3' plus chinook laying eggs. This is above the former lower lake.

Exciting to see this happen this far upriver.  Maybe, maybe not, the farthest upriver eggs laid in 90 years.

The former lower lake is changing very fast, lots of bushes and trees and plants everywhere. The mouth is something to see, lots of sand, beautiful new beach.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7812 | TRs
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
  Top

Snarky Member
PostThu Sep 04, 2014 10:42 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
vibramhead wrote:
The Tribe started fighting for removal of the dams long before anyone else did

I believe the tribe opposed the dams as they were being constructed and for the century following.  The Elwha's persistent opposition to the presence of the dams was an important factor.   Call me a cynic, but I find it hard to believe that the feds would spend $325m to improve the lives of the Elwha tribe -- unless there were substantial benefits to someone with deep enough pockets to make substantial campaign contributions.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
RumiDude
Marmota olympus



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 2975 | TRs
Location: Port Angeles
RumiDude
  Top

Marmota olympus
PostFri Sep 05, 2014 12:23 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
RandyHiker wrote:
vibramhead wrote:
The Tribe started fighting for removal of the dams long before anyone else did

I believe the tribe opposed the dams as they were being constructed and for the century following.  The Elwha's persistent opposition to the presence of the dams was an important factor.   Call me a cynic, but I find it hard to believe that the feds would spend $325m to improve the lives of the Elwha tribe -- unless there were substantial benefits to someone with deep enough pockets to make substantial campaign contributions.

Undoubtedly there were other voices besides the Elwha tribe seeking the removal of the two dams, including those who stood to benefit financially. But there were also some who simply thought it was the right thing to do and they lobbied hard also.  Give those people their due.

Rumi

--------------
"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
trestle
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Aug 2008
Posts: 2007 | TRs
Location: the Oly Pen
trestle
  Top

Member
PostSat Sep 06, 2014 5:49 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Well done Rumi, but I struggle with diplomacy.

RandyHiker wrote:
But this project was more about providing (de)-construction jobs and improving the tourist economy in the sixth congressional district.

rant.gif

You've posted some pretty radical comments before but this is a prize-winner.

Please post a citation for this pile of flaming dog poop. Frankly, with that attitude, you might want to stay away from the Elwha. The beauty of recovering nature will overwhelm your cynicism and you might collapse.  wink.gif

There are a lot of reasons the dams were taken out, most importantly they were illegal in the first place. But don't let the law or massive lawsuits against the public or simply that it was right get in the way of your cynicism. Durn Indians don't deserve nothing good anyways, huh? The Indians of WA have tremendous clout in D.C., in case you hadn't noticed. Nothing like a little bigotry to start the weekend.

rant off.

--------------
"Life favors the prepared." - Edna Mode
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7812 | TRs
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
  Top

Snarky Member
PostSat Sep 06, 2014 6:42 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
trestle wrote:
Well done Rumi, but I struggle with diplomacy.

trestle wrote:
rant.gif

You've posted some pretty radical comments before but this is a prize-winner.

Please post a citation for this pile of flaming dog poop. Frankly, with that attitude, you might want to stay away from the Elwha. The beauty of recovering nature will overwhelm your cynicism and you might collapse.  wink.gif

There are a lot of reasons the dams were taken out, most importantly they were illegal in the first place. But don't let the law or massive lawsuits against the public or simply that it was right get in the way of your cynicism. Durn Indians don't deserve nothing good anyways, huh? The Indians of WA have tremendous clout in D.C., in case you hadn't noticed. Nothing like a little bigotry to start the weekend.

rant off.

Drink a little more coffee next time before posting...

In terms of bigotry -- It's not the Elwha that I'm cynical about -- it's congress and the feds.

I think the Elwha dam removal project have been very overdone, long drawn out and overly expensive projects -- it is useful to compare it to the Condit Dam removal project on the White Salmon -- which was completed earlier and at far lower cost.

Perhaps the biggest boondoggle of the whole project is the scam that the private timber companies that originally built the dam (without a fish ladder -- which was required by law even back then) managed to fairly recently pawn off ownership of the dam to the federal government -- sticking the feds wiith the cost of removal.

Condit dam by contrast remained in private ownership and was removed at private expense.

The total Elwha removal and restoration project cost is over 325 million -- while the dam removal itself was 27 million -- where is the other 298 million going to ?  Sounds like some form of payola / make work projects...

The dam removal had to wait until the timber industry was so reduced in the area the power generated by the dams was no longer essential and then a bit more.

If the removal was about doing justice for the Elwha tribe, the dam should have been removed much earlier -- say in 1922 when the fish hatchery built instead of a fish ladder was decalred a failure and shut down or any time after WWII.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
CHECKTHISOUT
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 204 | TRs

CHECKTHISOUT
  Top

Member
PostSat Sep 06, 2014 8:18 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
RandyHiker wrote:
private timber companies that originally built the dam (without a fish ladder -- which was required by law even back then) managed to fairly recently pawn off ownership of the dam to the federal government

Then why was Grand Coulee built without a fish ladder?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
CHECKTHISOUT
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 204 | TRs

CHECKTHISOUT
  Top

Member
PostSat Sep 06, 2014 8:21 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
trestle wrote:
most importantly they were illegal in the first place

How so?

trestle wrote:
But don't let the law or massive lawsuits against the public or simply that it was right get in the way of your cynicism.

The dams were taken out because they were due for relicensing and never would have passed given the state they were in and the fact they no longer provided any sort of useful benefit to anyone. Cost/Benefit makes the decision easy.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Elwha River free at last
  Happy Birthday Tall Hiker Man!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy