Magazine article National Parks

Flowing Again

Magazine article National Parks

Flowing Again

Article excerpt

Salmon Return to Olympic National Park

One hundred years ago, elders in the Lower Elwha KIallaiu Tribe told their grandchildren of a time when they could cross the Elwha River on the backs of salmon swimming upstream to spawn, without even getting their feet wet. But ever since the Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam were constructed to harness the river's energy more than 80 years ago (before the designation of Olympic National Park), the flow of salmon has been reduced to a trickle, and the impact has been felt across the entire ecosystem.

That's about to change. In 1992, President George Bush signed legislation calling for the dams' removal. Since then, NPCA and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) have worked hard to ensure the feds allocate millions of dollars for the undertaking,- NPCA volunteers have volunteered for prep work, including the removal of invasive species. Construction crews got to work in September, and the river should be flowing freely by 2014. Some key numbers in the largest dam-removal in U.S. history.

The Wattage

Both dams, constructed to provide electricity for a paper mill in the city of Port geles, were built without ladders, which allow salmon to navigate through dams. The dams generated only 19 megawatts of energy, compared with the 500 megawatts of an average coal-fired power plant. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.