Event Title

History of the Elwha Eams, Washington: dam removal for ecosystem restoration and treaty obligations

Description

With $182 million of U.S. federal funds committed, the Elwha River Restoration Project is the largest dam removal and river restoration project ever attempted. When the two dams are removed, 10 anadromous fish stocks (with a pre-dam population estimated at 400,000) are expected to return to 110 km of river from which they've been excluded for a century. While dam removal is typically viewed through the lens of ecosystem restoration, in the case of the Elwha River there is deep cultural connection of the first nation peoples, the S'Klallam Tribe, to the river, as cited in the 1992 Elwha River Restoration Act (PL102-495). The Elwha hydroelectric dam was completed in 1913 eight river kilometers from the river's mouth. The economic boom that followed, allowed investors to build a second dam, the Glines Canyon Dam upstream in 1927. When dam owners applied for relicensing in 1968, the Lower Elwha S'Klallam Tribe exerted 1855 Treaty Rights "...of taking fish at usual and accustomed grounds..." which eventually lead to the Elwha River Restoration Act and the planned removal of the dams. Since the watershed has been protected in Olympic National Park, this case provides a study site for testing hypotheses related to dam removal and river restoration under ideal conditions.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

8-3-2008 8:00 AM

Subject - LCSH

Dam retirement--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Elwha River; Fishery law and legislation--Washington (State); Lower Elwha Tribal Community--Law and legislation; Lower Elwha Tribal Community--Attidues

End Date

8-3-2008 5:00 PM

Session

Ecological Analysis and Restoration

Genre/Form

Abstracts

Type

event

Geographic Coverage

Washington (State); Elwha Dam (Wash.); Lower Elwha Tribal Community

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Keywords

ecosystem restoration, dam removal, environmental history, Elwha River, Washington

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Mar 8th, 8:00 AM Mar 8th, 5:00 PM

History of the Elwha Eams, Washington: dam removal for ecosystem restoration and treaty obligations

With $182 million of U.S. federal funds committed, the Elwha River Restoration Project is the largest dam removal and river restoration project ever attempted. When the two dams are removed, 10 anadromous fish stocks (with a pre-dam population estimated at 400,000) are expected to return to 110 km of river from which they've been excluded for a century. While dam removal is typically viewed through the lens of ecosystem restoration, in the case of the Elwha River there is deep cultural connection of the first nation peoples, the S'Klallam Tribe, to the river, as cited in the 1992 Elwha River Restoration Act (PL102-495). The Elwha hydroelectric dam was completed in 1913 eight river kilometers from the river's mouth. The economic boom that followed, allowed investors to build a second dam, the Glines Canyon Dam upstream in 1927. When dam owners applied for relicensing in 1968, the Lower Elwha S'Klallam Tribe exerted 1855 Treaty Rights "...of taking fish at usual and accustomed grounds..." which eventually lead to the Elwha River Restoration Act and the planned removal of the dams. Since the watershed has been protected in Olympic National Park, this case provides a study site for testing hypotheses related to dam removal and river restoration under ideal conditions.