Just a few miles from where I live in the Columbia River Gorge, something remarkable happened this week. The Condit Dam, which has been around for 100 years, is a dam no more! The White Salmon River is now running free!
It’s rare to see a better example of nature reclaiming then a dam coming out! Huge kudos to Columbia Riverkeeper who were instrumental in the dam removal. Riverkeepers share:
In the late 1990s, Columbia Riverkeeper (then Columbia River United) joined the Yakama Nation and conservation, fishing, and whitewater groups in opposing the relicensing of the dinosaur dam that produced only a tiny amount of power but blocked miles of critical salmon habitat. In 1999, we signed an agreement with PacifiCorp and several state and federal agencies that required the demolition of the dam. It’s been a long journey, but it all came together with one big boom.
Watch the explosion and the White Salmon River restored:
Watch the explosion plus some history leading up to the removal of Condit Dam:
The steelhead and salmon can now return to their native habitat, after a 100 year break!
Friends of the White Salmon River share more about the river:
From its origin in meadows on the southwest side of Washington state’s Mt. Adams, the 45 mile long White Salmon River travels through the Mt. Adams Wilderness to connect with Cascade Creek, a major tributary that begins on the White Salmon Glacier at about 11,000 feet altitude…Condit Dam lies about 3.3 miles (5.3 km) upstream of the confluence where the White Salmon River empties into the Columbia River. The area below the dam is part of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, while parts of the river upstream belong to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system. The area is famous for its natural beauty and recreational activities such as whitewater rafting and fishing. Impoundment of the river in 1911 removed 33 miles (53 km) of steelhead habitat and 14 miles (23 km) of salmon.
For more on what some humans are doing to create a more sustainable ecosystem, check out EcoApprentice