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					A second life for the Elwha PG. 18

Restore                         RESPONSIBLY REVIVING AMERICA’S RIVERS


                                        Letting dams go

                                        ... and letting rivers find
                                        their new equilibriums PG. 10
             that are
             now gone
t hree more that will be soon
                                                           BC’s bad
                                                           on small
                                                           PG. 40

                                                                            RESPONSIBLY REVIVING AMERICA’S RIVERS

director’s note

             Our hope                                                                  Project director
                                                                                       Rich Bowers

                                                                                 Principal author/designer

         estore is a special         protection and restoration efforts             Christian Knight
         publication of the          at individual hydropower dams
         Hydropower Reform           regulated by the Federal Energy
                                     Regulatory Commission, as well        Hydropower Reform Coalition
Coalition, which provides
                                     as a long history of developing           Pacific Northwest Office
an overview of dam removal
                                     diverse and long-lasting                         Rich Bowers
nationally, and documents past,
                                     partnerships with industry,                   830 Reveille Street
current, and planned removals in
                                     agencies, tribes, and nonprofit         Bellingham, WA 98229-8804
the Pacific Northwest.
                                     organizations. Our members                 360-303-9625 (phone)
  The Coalition developed this
                                     have participated in improving   
report to discuss removal of
                                     and restoring fish habitat,       
hydropower and other dams as a
topic and to highlight restoration   natural flows, water quality,
successes and community              sediment management, riparian
and watershed benefits from          land protection, and recreational
dam removal in Alaska,               opportunities to rivers harmed
Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and          by hydropower dams.                     The primary focus of the Coalition
                                                                          is river restoration and reoperating of
Washington.                            We have also been the              existing dams for environmental gain.
  Providing timely and credible      nation’s leading voice on the                            Coalition members do
data, and facilitating dialogue      environmental aspects of                                 not advocate removal
                                     hydropower policy.                                       of all dams. For each
regarding dam removal to                                                                      dam removal example
decision makers, stakeholders          OUR MISSION: The mission                               in this publication, the
and other community                  of the Coalition is to protect                           owners and operators
                                     and restore environmental and                            have agreed to removal
members is another goal of this
                                                                                              as a final option. The
publication. Our hope is that        recreational values at rivers                            report attempts to
this dialogue will be useful in      affected by hydropower projects                          provide complete and
determining the benefits and         and to reform hydropower                                 accurate information,
                                                                                              but the Coalition
costs of future dam removal          policy to guarantee needed                               does not make any
opportunities.                       environmental protection             warranty, express or implied, or
  OUR COALITION: The                 measures in hydropower               assume any legal responsibility for the
                                     regulations.                         accuracy, completeness, or usefulness
Hydropower Reform Coalition                                               of any information or process described
is an association of more than         STEERING COMMITTEE:                or contained in this document. The
150 organizations representing       In the Northwest, Steering           information in this document does not
more than one million                Committee members include            represent a complete record of dam
                                                                          removal nationally or in the Pacific
conservationists, anglers,           American Rivers, American            Northwest. This document is intended for
boaters, and homeowners that         Whitewater, Idaho Rivers United      general information purposes only and
have effectively reduced the         and Trout Unlimited. Additional      should not be construed as legal advice or a
                                                                          legal opinion.
footprint of hydropower dams on      information can be found on the
rivers. The Coalition has more       Coalition’s website:
than seventeen years of on-the-
ground experience with river

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                                                                              Fall-time angling on Idaho’s
                                                                              Boise River.

photo by rich bowers

                      When we try to pick out anything by itself,
                 we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
                                             — JOhN MUIR

                                 About the cover
  The Hydropower Reform Coalition was orga-            an example of when non-power values were well-
nized to capitalize on a change to federal law that    balanced with operating requirements. The No-
requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commis-         vember 006 license issued for the Lake Chelan
sion (FERC) to give equal consideration to non-        Project restored flows and recreation to four miles
power values like water quality, recreation, and       of the Chelan River Gorge, improved 55 miles of
the protection of fish and wildlife when issuing the   Lake Chelan through balanced and comprehen-
federal licenses that established the operating re-    sive management, as well as 10 miles of fisher-
quirements for hydropower dams.                        ies improvements in the Stehekin River and other
  The cover photo of the Chelan River Gorge is         lake tributaries.

                                                 n Winter 011 n RESTORE n      

This photo: S. Fk.
of the Skykomish’s Eagle
Falls. Photo by Christian
Cover: Chelan Gorge during an
American Whitewater-coordinated
recreational release. Photo by
Rich Bowers.

    fall 2010
    28    TIME TO LET IT GO
    The White Salmon's Condit Dam has been
    poised for removal for more than a decade.
    Now, the time for removal has come.

    Letting go of the things we love can be hard.
    Sometimes, however, letting go is the best
    for everyone and everything.

     n RESTORE n Winter 011 n

departments                                16     RELEASE
                                           Profiles on the removal of dams on the Bear,
6     OVERVIEW                             Clark Fork, Sandy, Rogue and Trout Creek
The concept of removing dams might be      and upcoming removals of dams on the
new to you. But the act is common and      Elwha, White Salmon and Sullivan Creek.
becoming increasingly more common in the
Northwest and the nation. By Rich Bowers
                                           on the web
8      CURRENT                             WWW.hYDROREFORM.ORG
The danger of old dams; the difference     Learn the most recent developments in
between run-of-river dams and              hydropower policy and events; learn more
impoundment dams and dam removal by        about the Coalition's diverse array of
state.                                     member organizations and get involved.

                                   n Winter 011 n RESTORE n   5
 ove r v i e w


 Dams provide an array of benefits to society. But as they
 age, those contributions morph into liabilities of safety,
 economics and environmental harm. The last gift of an
 aging dam might be its own disappearance.

                       STORY BY RICh BOWERS n PhOTO BY ThOMAS O’KEEFE

          leven years ago, a bell in a church’s steeple   Corps of Engineers) and it's especially true of the
          began ringing up on the hill. It had rung       14,615 completed before the turn of the century.
          every Sunday since the late 1800s to              As dams' structural integrities deteriorate, so do
          usher in Augusta, Maine's French Catholic       their benefits to society.
parishoners. But on July 1, 1999, it was ringing on         The power they once generated is weakened by a
a Thursday. And instead of ushering in another            century's worth of accumulated sediment pressing
congregation, it was ushering in a new era. A new         against their bases. The fields they were retrofitted to
era of dam removal. The Kennebec’s Edwards Dam            irrigate may now be parking lots.
was the first removed by order of the Federal Energy        These diminished benefits come with risks—the
Regulatory Commission. And since then, owners and         risks of breaches that could result in catastrophic
regulators have removed another 460 — accounting          flash floods; bankrupting repair requirements; harm
for nearly half of the 836 removed dams counted           they impose on our most threatened species.
by American Rivers, the national non-profit river           “The number of deficient dams has risen to more
restoration organization.                                 than 4,000, including 1,819 dams with high hazard
  This trend acknowledges what dam removal                potential," asserted the American Society of Civil
advocates have been saying for some time: That all        Engineers' 2009 report card. "Over the past six
dams — even the best-built dams — age.                    years, for every deficient, high-hazard potential dam
  This is true of the dam built yesterday. It's true of   repaired, nearly two more were declared deficient.
the 18,690 built in the 1960s (according to the Army      The average age ... exceeds 51 years.”

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                                                                              The gorge wall of Cornell
                                                                              University’s Triphammer Dam
                                                                              was completed in 1902.

  In these circumstances—when environmental              on Oregon’s Rogue and Sandy Rivers, Idaho’s Bear
damage or safety risks outweigh the economic or          River, Washington’s Trout Creek, Montana’s Clark
power benefits of maintaining the                                          Fork, Oregon's Hood River, and
dam—the Hydropower Reform             In these circumstances ... the others. A number of additional
Coalition recognizes that dam         Coalition recognizes that dam dams are either currently under
removal is an increasingly useful     removal is an increasingly           study for removal or are being
tool for river restoration.           useful tool for river restoration. removed, such as Condit Dam on
  The Coalition also recognizes the                                        Washington’s White Salmon River,
value of maintaining—and upgrading—some dams, Mill Pond on Sullivan Creek, Elwha and Glines Canyon
especially those that produce sufficient energy.         dams on the Olympic Peninsula, Iron Gate, Copco,
  "More than 2,500 megawatts of power could be and J.C. Boyle dams on the Klamath. A number of
added by simply improving efficiencies at existing other dams, such as the Middle Fork Diversion on
hydroelectric plants and adding hydro to non- Washington’s Nooksack River and Growden Dam
generating dams," concluded the 1997 U.S. Hydropower within Washington’s Colville National Forest are also
Resource Assessment for Washington State.                being considered for future removal.
          ThE NORThWEST PERSPECTIVE                       Dam removal in the Northwest has restored
  Dam removal has been studied or successfully hundreds of miles of river and provided more fish,
undertaken on more than 80 rivers in Alaska, Montana, wildlife, recreation, improved public safety, flood
Oregon and Washington. This includes dam removals protection, and better water quality.

                                                n Winter 011 n RESTORE n      
           3                                                                       The number of dams
                                                                                   removed through 00,
                                                                                   according to American
                                                                                   Rivers' most recent

1960-1969                                        28
The decade of dams.                                                                  9                                  3
U.S. companies and
agencies built more                         23
than  percent
(1,60) of the                                                  14                                                     14
nation's dams
during this era.
The second
most prolific era                                     1                                                                 6
of dam building
occured prior to
100.                                                                                           12
                                     76                                                                                      10

has 6,0 dams, second                                                                                                        No da
only to Texas' ,10.                                                                       2
Thirty percent of Kansas'
dams were built before

n States that have removed 51 dams or more                                                                                   10

n States that have removed 1 to 50 dams
n States that have removed 1 to 0 dams
n States that have removed 11 to 0 dams                                                 No data

n States that have removed 10 dams or less
* All data retrieved from American Rivers ( and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (
 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
         For the first time since the beginning of last century,
         dams are coming out of rivers as quickly as they
            are going in. The states that have embraced
                     this change have used it repeatedly,        14
                                                                                              The number
                                 as this map, compiled
                                                                                              of dams
      11                           from American          14                                  removed
                                     Rivers data,            15
                                                                                              since the
               125                    shows.         10
                                                             16                               July 1, 1
                                40                                                 1          removal
                                                                              19              of Maine's
         1                                         163             11                         Edwards
                                     48                    15                                 Dam on the
                  23        1
                                              1                     3                         River.
             3                                        18



                             2          1
                  No data

             4                                                The number of dams the U.S.
                                                              Army Corps of Engineers
                                                              counts in its official inventory.


                                     The National Research Council's total estimate of
                                     U.S. dams, including small dams, which are not
                                     claimed or maintained. From: National Research Council's 1992 report,
                                     Restoratoin of Aquatic Ecosystems: Science, Technology and Public Policy.
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             A new equilibrium
       Even after a century of impoundment, nature will discover balance.

               e’ve all broken our parents’ hearts. At    be messy. But we still need to let the river go.
               least once. On that day when we told         When the dam is new, we fool ourselves into
               them they did a good job and then told     believing the structure and the lake it formed will
               them goodbye.                              be with us forever, that it has become a part of our
  Of course we weren’t gone for good. We’d visit on the   landscape.
weekends, for sure. And all the                                                                      But dams,
major holidays.                                                                                    like children,
  But they wept anyway because                                                                     age. After 50
they knew the relationship had                                                                     years, their
changed. They knew that we                                                                         concrete
had begun our quest for a new                                                                      rapidly begins
equilibrium.                                                                                       to decay and
  Getting there, our parents                                                                       eventually
knew, would be messy. It would                                                                     crumble.
be replete with broken cars, fold-out beds, empty         Sediment, intended to provide mortar for the river’s
refrigerators, break-ups and two-week notices.            downstream banks and nutrients for its species,
  A river’s re-entry into its native riverbed can be      instead halts at the dam, accumulating every day like
every bit as volatile. Before establishing its own new    cobwebs in the attic.
equilibrium, it must deposit many decades worth of          The existing riverbed, vulnerable to the force of
sediment, scour lakeside wetlands, and drain. It can      floods now, changes regularly. Microscopic life, whose

10 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                    Sullivan created these images
                                                            Landscape architect Cody ErhartCreek before and
                                                                                    after Pond in according to the
                                                            to depict Sullivan Creek’s Millremoval, its current state,
                                                                                    scaled landscape Pond Dam.
                                                            two and then 10 years after removal of Millarchitecture
                                                                                     of Cody Erhart.

survival has depended on that sediment for millions       go?” we ask. “What will those migratory birds eat?”
of years, disappear. So do entire salmon and steelhead       Yes, the transition is always a little messy. Despite
runs.                                                     all the scaled models, expert analysis, environmental
  Of course, these effects are invisible to most of us.   impact statements, it’s always a little uncertain. At
What we see is the lake—our favorite picnic spot, the     least in our own minds.
place where, that one time, we caught a 10-ounce             But that doesn’t mean we should stop it. Nature
Small Mouth Bass.                                                                         designed rivers to run
  The place that could                                                                    to the sea the same way
take the burn out of                                                                      our parents raised us
the hottest summer                                                                        to explore the world, to
day.                                                                                      become self-sufficient.
  This is what we see                                                                     And until a river gets
when we gaze upon                                                                         there, it will always be
the lake. And so, we                                                                      out of balance.
try to hold onto it.                                                                        “In the lifetime of a
Even though the dam                                                                       river, a dam for 100
no longer produces                                                                        years matters very
electricity. Even though its fish passage system has      little,” says U.S. Forest Service hydrologist Gordon
aged so mercilessly, it now kills the very fish it was    Grant. “From a geological perspective a dam that sits
originally engineered to protect.                         for 100 years does not cast a long shadow.”
  And to make the dam owners think twice about               But letting a dam go allows the river to develop what
removal, we do what our parents did to us when we         Grant calls “a new equilibrium.”
left their homes: We fret over the transition process.       “Fundamentally, once you remove a dam, you
  “But where will you stay?” they asked us. “How will     initiate a set of processes, some fast, some slow, by
you eat?”                                                 which a river re-establishes a new equilibrium,” Grant
  With dam removal, the vernacular is different, but      explains. “This new equilibrium may have never
the message is the same: “Where will all that sediment    existed that way before.”

                                                  n Winter 011 n RESTORE n          11
  cur rent
                                                                                 In 2010, PacifiCorp began
                                                                                 removing Hood River’s Pow-
                                                                                 erdale Dam, pictured below.
photography by sam drevo

      Natural consequences
       Eventually, most of the nation’s two million dams will be removed.
          The question is: At nature’s whim or human’s engineering?

         he Ka Loko Dam never should have breached         In the sleeping hours of March 14, 2006, however,
         because its owner never should have graded      the worst of greed, poor regulation and nature
         over its spillway.                              conspired to unleash 300 million gallons of water in
           It never should have become dilapidated       a series of 30- to 70-foot waves. The torrent uprooted
because state inspectors should have evaluated it        trees, devoured the land and drowned seven people—
every five years, and forced its owner to maintain it.   one of them a pregnant mother and another a 2-year-
  And it never should have had to hold so much water,    old boy.
because even in Kauai—Hawaii’s Garden Island—the           Compared to Arizona's Mead and Washington's
heavens rarely dumped so much water for so long.         Ross, the Ka Loko Reservoir was tiny. It measured
  None of these three culprits should have ever          less than 20 feet high. But it proved—as history has
converged.                                               so many times—that pent up energy can wreak a

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                                                                                  Oregon’s Sandy River is
                                                                                  recovering, according to the
                                                                                  models, illustrated below.
illustrations by pacificorp

disproportionate amount of damage.                          They’ve aged. Sediment has built up behind them.
  The United States has 83,983 dams listed on its           Their power generation significance has dwindled.
inventory and, some say, a couple million more, which     And they need to be retrofitted.
are not.                                                    “To own and maintain a dam it costs a lot of money,”
  Of those inventoried dams, more than 26,000 pose        says David Hamilton, the water section manager of
a significant or high hazard to the people and lands      Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources and

that are downstream, according to the U.S. Army           Environment. “It’s cyclic when you need money. You’ll
Corps of Engineers. And most of those, roughly 73         go years and years and there’ll be need for investment.
percent of them, are privately owned. This requires       And all of the sudden one year, big years, they drop.”
each respective state to inspect dams for weaknesses        In 1986, floods swept through much of Michigan,
and order the owners to maintain them. But just           toppling several dams, which destroyed property and
like the Ka Loko Dam, states don’t always have the        lives. In response, Michigan passed the Dam Safety
budgets and the man-power to regularly inspect the        Act of 1989, which accomplished several things.
dams. And owners frequently don’t have the money            The act set standards for dam safety. It established
to repair them.                                           classifications for the dams—high potential for failure
  The result is a dangerous concoction of ever            or low potential—and it required regular inspections.
weakening dams, growing downstream populations              Budget shortfalls have forced the department to
and more surface water, which combined can devastate      focus on the high potential and significant potential
the land and lives of the people who live beneath them.   dams. Despite the shortfalls, Michigan has removed
This is why so many owners are resorting to a third       40 dams through 2009, behind Pennsylvania (163),
option: Removing the dams. Allowing rivers to return      Wisconsin (125), California (76) and Ohio (48).
to their natural states.                                    “That program is making sure dams in place are safe,
  Michigan is one of the nation’s leaders when it comes   well-maintained and regularly inspected,” Hamilton
to dam removal. It has an estimated 2,500 dams, 114       says. “When we find dams that are not safe we say
of which produce hydropower. Because so many of           something needs to be done with them. We work with
Michigan’s dams were built more than a half-century       the owner to make sure they fix the dam or that they
ago—and, as in the case of the Boardman River,            remove the dam. Our position as an agency is we don’t
more than a century ago—many have outlived their          care whether the dam stays in place or is removed.
purposes.                                                 But if it is in place, it needs to be safe.”

                                                 n Winter 011 n RESTORE n      1
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                                                                                  For more federal information
                                                                                  on hydropower, visit: www.
illustration by the u.s. department of energy

   How do they compare?
                    Run-of-river and impoundment dams differ more
                    in industry semantics than practical application.
 RUN-OF-RIVER projects facilitate the energy of            IMPOUNDMENT dams rely on stored water, which
the river’s current to produce electricity. Nearly all    when needed generates electricity. Impoundments
require a small reservoir to divert water through a       are the most common form of hydropower plants and
penstock or flume and into turbines, and then return      consist of the world’s largest projects.
the water downstream.                                       ADVANTAGES: Provides stable and predictable
  ADVANTAGES: Require less flooding. Produces             energy supply. Produces relatively insignificant
fewer carbon emissions.                                   carbon emissions. Public scrutiny ensures utilities
  DISADVANTAGES: Their power supply can’t be              construct and operate with significant mitigations of
coordinated with consumer-demand. “Eco-friendly”          dam impacts.
label gives false sense of benign nature, despite minor     DISADVANTAGES: Requires large-scale flooding,
flooding and destruction of ecosystems.                   which destroys habitats, blocks salmon runs and rots
  ExAMPLES: Bonneville and Wells dams on the              vegetation, which releases carbon dioxide.
Columbia, and most of British Columbia’s Independent        ExAMPLES: Hoover and Glen Canyon, Rocky
Power Producer projects are run-of-river dams.            Reach (Columbia), Three Gorges (China).

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                                                                                    U. of Minnesota’s Center for
                                                                                    Earth’s Surface Dynamics is
                                                                                    the place to go for models.
photography by gordon grant

                Role of the model
              hen a group of fishermen decided in          prediction of a scaled, 60-foot-long, five-foot-wide
              10 to remove a Rogue River dam,            model of the Sandy River.
              they didn’t conduct feasibility stud-          When the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams come out
              ies, environmental impact studies or         starting in the fall 011, a 5-foot-long scaled model
sediment studies. All they did, was light the fuse.        will guide the $51 million deconstruction.
Stream ecology has progressed in the last century            The researcher involved with both of these models
and hydrologists today often rely on models to reduce      is Gordon Grant, a research hydrologist from Oregon
uncertainty in large-scale projects.                       State University and the U.S. Forest Service. Below
  The removal of Marmot Dam relied on the                  are his words on the models.

ACCURACY: "We were surprised at how quickly the            model. We wrote a paper on it. It’s great fun."
sediment [at Marmot Dam's removal] was evacuated           PAPIER MAChE? "The basic form is plywood with
under very modest flow conditions. About 20 percent        concrete poured over the form and painted. The
of the total volume [of sediment] stored, was evacuated    Marmot model cost $30,000 to $40,000."
during the first 48 hours. It came out very quickly. The   WhO BUILDS ThEM: "[The University of
physical model predicted that, but we didn’t believe       Minnesota’s Center for Earth’s Surface Dynamics] are
it. On the river … the numerical models predicted          masters of the model. [The Marmot model] took about
that sand would flush and gravel would linger … The        a month to build, for a team of four to five people.
models predicted that pretty well."                        The team consists of lab techs and engineers. Lots of
TRIAL AND ERROR: "[Physical] models are                    engineering is done with these models."
expensive and hard to build. We use them to test             n To see video of the model’s construction and test go
ideas. No one had done this [removed a significant         to:
dam with natural erosion] before. [The models] get                                   and
run a lot. We ran 10 experiments with the Marmot 

                                                  n Winter 011 n RESTORE n      15
                                                   The Forest Service expended
                                                   more than 1,000 logs to
                                                   anchor the creekbed.
photography by gifford pinchot national forest

16 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                   Check out http://www.

           Trout Creek revival
  A day after removal of the Hemlock Dam, a young adult steelhead swims upstream

           or 75 years, one                                                          picnic shelters, kiosks and
           half mile of Trout
           Creek lay buried in
                                        hEMLOCK DAM                                  other Forest Service assets.
                                                                                     Hemlock Dam came down in
           sediment. The 22-           n Removed 00                                     three days. The creek’s
foot-high dam had justified            n Wind River is                                      recovery was just
the 1935 drowning of this            considered Tier I                                      beginning. And much
section of the Wind River            Key Watershed                                          of its success relied
                                                                         TROUT CREEK
tributary by generating                n Project                                            on the contributions
power for a 200-man logging          exhausted 1,000                                        of humans—the same
camp into the 50s, irrigating        logs for bank                                          species that had
a conifer nursery into the 90s,      reinforcement                                          drowned the creek 75
and providing a swimming               n Old growth                                         years earlier.
hole warmed by its perpetual         conifers from splash dam                                 Using more than
exposure to the Columbia             provided logs for bank reinforcement,           1,000 trucked-in logs and
River Gorge’s sunshine.              plus milled wood for kiosks, signs and          some of the old growth
  But the warmth, which took         picnic shelter                                  conifers from the splash
the sting out of a summer’s            n Removal re-connected upper 0               dam they had uncovered
dip for swimmers above the           miles to lower two miles of creek               during excavation, the Forest
dam, had evicted or killed                                                           Service rebuilt the Trout
the young steelhead below                                                            Creek riverbed and banks
the dam. The concrete, which had provided jobs and                                 and incrementally pumped
electricity for decades, had also severed the creek’s water around the restoration zone and back into the
upper 20 miles from its lower two miles. Ultimately, river below the dam.
the dam contributed to the 1998 Endangered Species           On that first day, U.S. Forest Service hydrologist
listing of the Lower Columbia steelhead.                  and project manager Bengt Coffin witnessed the first
  And so after several years of studying the watershed, glimpse of a long recovery: A young adult steelhead
the Gifford Pinchot National Forest decided in approached the worksite and swam upstream
December 2005 to remove the dam and allow the through the rebuilt streambed.
creek to become again what it once was: the Wind             Removal costs of Hemlock Dam were provided
River watershed’s most important habitat for native by the U.S. Forest Service, Salmon Recovery
steelhead. Beginning in July 2009, the James Dean Funding Board, the Yakama Nation, U.S. Fish and
Construction company toiled 17 hours a day for 40 Wildlife Service, Ecotrust, Mid Columbia Fisheries
days, excavating 2,000 dump truck loads (60,000 Enhancement Group, NOAA Fisheries and American
cubic yards) of sediment in a search for the original Rivers.
creekbed.                                                    “This project is a great example of the painstaking
  Crews discovered the original splash dam that           science behind our efforts to protect and enhance
lumberjacks used to transport timber downstream.          habitat for fish. In this case, dam removal made
The Forest Service would use those buried cedars to       perfect sense,” said Bill Maslen, BPA Fish and Wildlife
help anchor the recovering streambanks and to build official.

                                                   n Winter 011 n RESTORE n     17
                                                                                   Glines Canyon Dam reveals
                                                                                   the wear of age. It traps 14
                                                                                   million cubic feet of sediment.
photography by thomas o’keefe

       This time, it’s for real
 Efforts to remove the Elwha River’s two dams began two decades ago. But
 the August 010 announcement of a $-million contract gives advocates
                   genuine optimism for a 011 start date.

          wenty years ago, Gordon Grant sat around the   responsible for modeling the removal. “It’s been on
          dinner table with fellow scientists, making    the books for 20 years. The removal date has been
          wagers on a napkin.                            pushed back four times.”
            The bet: the fate of the Elwha River’s two      The dams’ fifth removal date is October 2011. And
dams—the only man-made barriers obstructing the          if Grant were sitting around the dinner table with a
pristine river’s source in the mountains of Olympic      bunch of scientists and a spare napkin, the date he’d
National Park from its mouth at the Strait of Juan de    scribble on that napkin would be October 2011.
Fuca 45 miles and 4,500 vertical feet downstream.           “It does look like it’ll come out in the next year,” he
  And Grant, being a skeptic, waited until the last of   says.
those scientists had placed his wager.                      The delays resulted from similar—but more
  “I, of course, would pick the one day after the last   intense—issues that have delayed the removal of so
day claimed,” says the Forest Service hydrologist,       many unproductive dams throughout the United

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                                                                                       The announcement of a $26
                                                                                       million contract indicates
                                                                                       removal will begin late 2011.

States. Permits. Red tape.                                 landsliding and bleeding for years to come.”
  Now that the removal seems imminent, however,              The best method, Grant says, is to remove the dam
Grant—and the group of scientists to which he 15 vertical feet at a time, then drain and to repeat this
belongs—has shifted his attention from the question process over and over and over again.
of when the dams will be removed to how. How do              “If you do it in stages, if you allow the river to reach
you make thousands of tons of 100-year-old concrete equilibrium with each new stage,” Grant says. “Each
disappear? How do you delete 20 million cubic yards new stage redistributes the sediment. Each time
of trapped sediment from an empty lake? How do you you lower the dam, you have a new delta. It’s a very
undo a century’s worth of human interference?              effective strategy.” This method releases about 25
  Of the 600-plus dams                                                               percent of the sediment and
removed since the Kennedy                                                            redistributes the rest along the
administration, Glines
Canyon would represent
                                          ELWhA DAMS                                 sides of the canyon.
                                                                                       The dam would be gone in
the biggest. Elwha Dam              n Owned by U.S. Dept. of Interior                       two years.
would be the second                 n Elwha built in 11;                                     But the model
largest.                            Glines built in 1                                     revealed another
  No one has ever done              n Combined                                               potential hazard. The
this. Except by model.              capacity of .1                     ELWhA &             current, given too much
  In 2010, a team of                megawatts                            GLINES
                                                                                             freedom, could wander
engineers from the                  n 1 million cubic                                       away from the location
University of Minnesota’s           yards of sediment; 1                                    of its buried riverbed
National Center for Earth’s         million behind Glines                                    and cut a new channel
Surface Dynamics built              Canyon Dam                                               through the sediment
a 35-foot long precisely            n Removal would restore 0 miles of              along one side of the canyon or
scaled model of the Elwha           habitat                                          the other. This could undercut
River out of concrete and           n Both dams impound combined                     the canyon’s unstable
plywood.                            6,500 acre feet of water                        sediment walls and result in
  And since that time,                                                               a perpetual state of landslides
Grant has been testing a                                                             and salmon-choking turbidity
series of hypothesis with                                                           levels. To avoid this problem,
the model.                                                 Grant says, an excavator will cut a pilot channel
  The first lesson he learned is the natural erosion through the middle of the riverbed.
method used during the Marmot Dam removal won’t              And, if the 45-mile river replicates its 35-foot scaled
work for the Elwha and especially for the Glines model, the Elwha River could once again host runs of
Canyon Dam. Most of the 800,000 cubic yards of 400,000 salmon per year relatively soon.
sediment stacked up behind the 47-foot-high Marmot           But it wouldn’t be the same river that it was before
Dam was front-loaded, as if consolidated at the end of 1910, when the Elwha Dam severed the river’s lower
a wheelbarrow. All it needed was a big gush of water 4.9 miles from its upper 38 miles.
to shove it out. The 17 million cubic yards of sediment      “In the lifetime of a river, a dam that sits there for 100
behind Glines Canyon Dam, by contrast, is dispersed years matters very little,” Grant says. “Fundamentally,
throughout 140 of Lake Mills’ 415 total acres. The gush once you remove a dam, you initiate a set of processes,
of water would be more like the spout from a garden some fast, some slow, by which the river reestablishes
hose cutting a channel right through the middle of it. a new equilibrium. The new equilibrium may have
  “It would leave a 115-foot-high canyon full of unstable never existed that way before. It’s a new river, a new
sediment,” Grant says. “The thing would be calving, equilibrium.”

                                                     n Winter 011 n RESTORE n        19
                                                                  As models predicted, the
                                                                  force of the river eroded the
                                                                  stacked sediment quickly.
photography by portland general electric

Nudging natural erosion
  The removal of the Sandy River’s Marmot Dam was a first for the natural
         erosion method. And scientists have studied it carefully.

          he 2007 removal of Marmot                and trapping sediment. Lots of sediment.
          Dam sparked a lot of theories              Portland General Electric rebuilt it in the
          about what would happen to               late 1980s and by 2007, the dam had piled
          the 43 miles of Oregon’s Sandy           800,000 cubic yards of sediment up to its
River below the 47-foot-tall hydroelectric         brim and spread it a mile upstream.
project. But none of the hydrologists,               This was the equivalent of 150 Olympic-
geomorphologists and engineers really              sized swimming pools worth of sediment.
knew exactly how the river would digest              Some forecast models were dire: They
all that sediment.                                 predicted the river would require two- to
  “No one had ever done this before,” said         five years to disburse half of the sediment.
Gordon Grant, a research hydrologist               And in the meantime, the sediment would
with the United States Forest Service.             block salmon from downstream tributaries,
  Since its construction in 1912, Marmot           bury spawning beds and suffocate salmon.
Dam had been impeding fish passage                   But that’s not what happened. After 18

0 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                      To see time-lapse video, go

months of negotiation, members of the Hydropower             "The main concerns about blocking never
Reform Coalition, Portland General Electric and 21 materialized,” Esler says. “We had Coho spawning the
other signatories had considered two plans: Excavate next week. Literally. It was amazing. You could stand
the sediment mechanically or allow the river to erode up on the bridge, look downstream and feel like you
it naturally.                                              were looking at a river in the Olympic Peninsula.”
   The former plan would be expensive, would                 The Sandy River’s faster-than-hoped-for
require at least a year of excavation and would stir       restoration has been the reward for PGE’s pursuit
up turbidity that could choke salmon for the entire        of a modeled, yet untried method of removal. But
time. According to a                                                          the impetus for removal wasn’t
plethora of models,                                                           environmental.
the latter option
would be faster,
                                  MARMOT DAM                                    It was economic. PGE began
                                                                              preparing to renew its license in
more natural and              n  organizations signed the                          1998—six years before its
unprecedented.                settlement agreement                                     current license would expire.
   “At the time, it           n First major U.S.                                         Its financial officers
represented the single        dam to be removed                                        quickly realized the 22
largest instantaneous         with natural erosion                                     megawatts of power wouldn’t
                                                              SANDY RIVER
release of sediment,”         method                                                   justify the expense of the
Gordon Grant says.            n 00,000 cubic                                          modifications necessary to
   Portland General           yards of sediment                                        relicense the project.
Electric began                was -feet thick                                          “It came down to simple
preparing for the             and extended a mile                                      exercise,” Esler says. “On one
removal late in the           upstream                                                side, we were considering
summer of 2007,               n The 00 removal connected 100                what the agencies were asking for,
when the water was            miles of river                                  such as higher flows, rebuilding the
low. And on October           n PGE donated 1,500 acres of land to            fish ladder, a screen system that put
19, 2007, after a             the public                                      fish back into the river, the need
series of rainstorms                                                          to leave water in the Little Sandy,”
swelled the Sandy                                                             Esler says.
and strained the cofferdams, PGE provided the final          “Then, with a simple Excel spreadsheet, we added up
push that allowed the river to once again control the      the costs that we were going to do, plus maintenance.
riverbed.                                                  On other side, we considered the value of energy. It
   “For me personally, it moved faster than I had was about a wash.”
anticipated,” says John Esler, one of PGE’s project          The removal connected 100 miles of river, and led
managers for the removal. “Once the cofferdam was to the donation of 1,500 acres of PGE’s land to the
moved out of the way, the sediment just left. About public.
as fast as you could watch it. It came out amazingly         “As much as the public complains about dams on
fast.”                                                     rivers, they get used to dams on rivers,” Elser says.
   The next three or four storms continued to disperse “That’s the status quo. If we had not been as committed
the sediment. The fine sands, the stuff that can choke as an entity to see this thing through, there would have
or suffocate fish, moved through the system quickly, been 100 ways to stall this thing from happening.
Esler says.                                                  "The team [at] PGE had to bulldog this to keep it on
   The gravel never blocked side-channels.                 track. But it’s understandable. It was different. No one
   It never cut off the tributaries.                       had ever done this before.”

                                                    n Winter 011 n RESTORE n      21
                                                    Opposite page: Condit’s pow-
                                                    erhouse and surge tank will
                                                    all be eliminated as well.

to let it
Southern Washington’s Condit
Dam is 97 years old, in need
of repair and too inefficient to
justify the environmental and
economic expenses.
Photo by Thomas O’Keefe
  n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
         ive years and three postpone-                     Just getting to this point has required the
         ments after Condit Dam’s original               collaboration of  stakeholder groups,
         removal date, PacifiCorp, the proj-             and scientists from several state, federal
         ect’s owner, received one of the                and local resource agencies to study every
final go-aheads to remove the 15-foot-                  detail and consequence of removal.
high, 1-foot-wide wall of concrete from                  And though they all acknowledge the short-
the lower White Salmon River.                            term impacts of removal, they all agree it
  The state order for this $ million removal           is necessary for the survival of the White
project came October 1, 010 in the form                Salmon River ecosystem and the restoration
of the Washington Department of Ecology                  of one of the region’s most prolific salmon
water quality permit.                                    and steelhead habitats.

                   Photo by TomasO’Keefe        Photo by Nicholas O’Neil                        Photo by ThomasO’Keefe

 SEven million eggs                                      White Salmon River 3.3 miles from its mouth with
 1907: Biologists collect more than seven million        the Columbia and about 40 miles from its source on
Chinook eggs at a hatchery near the mouth of the         the southern slope of Mount Adams.
White Salmon River.
                                                           No more fish? oh well.
 Harnessing the power                                      1919: After floods destroyed the original fish
  1913: Northwestern Power Company builds 125-foot-      ladder and its replacement, the dam’s owner absolves
high, 471-foot-wide Condit Dam to generate power for     itself of fish migration responsibilities by paying the
processing local paper operations and to supply power    Washington Fish Commission $5,000 for a mitigating
for a growing population. The dam, equipped with a       fish hatchery. This extinguishes the local populations
wooden fish ladder, barricades southern Washington’s     of native fall Chinook, coho and steelhead.

                                                 n Winter 011 n RESTORE n     
                                                                                          Historic photographs show
                                                                                          construction, and the narrows
                                                                                          section before Condit

          The federal power act                                  the outcomes of the licensing process.
         1920: Congress passes the Federal Power Act, which
       creates the Federal Power Commission—now the                            New license, please
       Federal Energy Regulatory Commission                                               DECEMBER 27, 1991:
       (FERC)—to coordinate hydroelectric                                               PacifiCorp applies for a new
       projects and maintain “reasonable,                                               license to continue operation.
       nondiscriminatory and just rates to the
       consumer.”                                                                         FERC modifies
                   A new lease                                                           PacifiCorp's idea
                    on power                                                              OCTOBER 1996: After
         1968: PacifiCorp renews its license                                            considering five options for
       through FERC to operate the Condit           Photo by Rebecca Sherman            Condit Dam’s fate, FERC
       hydroelectric project. The lease will                                            recommends PacifiCorp’s
       expire in 28 years.                                                              proposal to maintain the dam
                                                                 with modifications.
                  Necessary imposition
         1984: The U.S. Supreme Court rules Section 4(e)                         They all agree
       of the Federal Power Act gives FERC no discretion           SEPTEMBER 1999: Fifteen environmental groups,
       to reject the conditions imposed upon a hydropower        two tribal entities, and five government agencies
       operator by federal land reservation managers, such       negotiated a comprehensive agreement for an October
       as the U.S. Forest Service.                               2006 removal of what would be the nation’s largest
                                                                 hydropower dam. PacifiCorp estimates removal will
                       Flower power                              cost $17.5 million. Environmental signatories include:
         1986: The Electric Consumers Protection Act amends      American Rivers, American Whitewater, Columbia
       the Federal Power Act to give "equal consideration" to    Gorge Audubon Society, Columbia Gorge Coalition,
       the preservation of recreational, ecological, and other   Columbia RiverKeeper, Federation of Fly Fishers,
       values of natural rivers.                                 Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Friends of the
         Combined with the 1984 Supreme Court decision           Earth, Friends of the White Salmon, Rivers Council
       and a 2000 decision by the Ninth Circuit court, these     of Washington, The Mountaineers, The Sierra Club,
       interpretations of the Federal Power Act recognize        Trout Unlimited, Wild Fish Conservancy, Washington
       the rights of federal and state agencies to influence     Wilderness Coalition.

Photos by PacifiCorp

        n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                     Condit Dam has a peak
                                                                                     capacity of 14.7 megawatts,
                                                                                     good for 7,500 homes.

 It will come down, one day                                be fully evaluated before accepting.
  OCTOBER 1999: PacifiCorp applies for extension of                          Raincheck
license to October 1, 2006, at which point PacifiCorp      FEBRUARY 2005: All signatories to the Condit
would remove the dam. This increases the license          Dam settlement agreement agree to postpone removal
term from 28 to 41 years.                                 until October 2008. The extra time allows PacifiCorp
                                                                              an extra two years to acquire
 Send it all to                                                               permits and accrue $3.3 million
  our landfill
  FEBRUARY 2000:
                                        CONDIT DAM                            to cover unanticipated permitting
                                                                              and mitigation expenses.
FERC responds                    n Impounds . million cubic yards of
to environmental                 sediment                                                  Agencies
analysis by conducting           n Built from 111 to                                         agree
hearings on the array of         11                                                   2006: National Marine
alternatives for Condit          n Provides                         CONDIT DAM        Fisheries Service and
Dam's fate. Klickitat,           maximum capacity                                     U.S. Department of Fish
Skamania counties and            of 1. megawatts                                    and Wildlife issued
U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton,          n Settlement                                         biological opinions
R-Wash. are concerned            agreement was signed                                 under the Endangered
with the short-term              by  groups in 1                               Species Act, which agree
consequences of the              n Removal would connect lower .            the long-term advantages of
sediment-flush, the              miles to the upper  Wild and Scenic        removal outweigh short-term
loss of Northwestern             River miles                                  impacts of the sediment flush.
Lake’s trout fishery             n Was first designated Wild and Scenic
and lakefront property           in 16; then again in 005
values.                                                                          benefits
  The counties urge                                                           outweigh short-
FERC to mandate dredging and disposal of most of                           term costs
the four million tons of sediment blocked by the dam         2007: The Washington state Department of Ecology
and dumping this into Klickitat County's landfill.         asserts in its Environmental Impact Statement
                                                           that removal will benefit salmon and steelhead
            We will sue, if ...                            populations.
  2002: Klickitat and Skamania counties threaten
to sue the Department of Ecology if the state agency                Waiting on permits
allows PacifiCorp to violate the state’s water quality       FEBRUARY 2010: As it waits for two water quality
standards by releasing sediment downstream.                permits—one from the Army Corps of Engineers
                                                           and one from the Washington state Department
          Federal Power Act                                of Ecology—PacifiCorp files for another one-year
             loses power                                   extension, postponing the removal date until 2011.
  2005: After a decade of lobbying by utility operators,
Congress amends the Federal Power Act to weaken the         Success is Within reach
power of resource managers to prescribe conditions           OCTOBER 2010: Ecology issues the 401 water
that would mitigate the project's impact on fish.          quality permit, one final barrier between fish and
The amendment allows any stakeholder to propose            several miles of free-flowing White Salmon River.
alternatives to the prescribed conditions, which must      This sets up a Fall 2011 removal.

                                                  n Winter 011 n RESTORE n     5
                                                                           Except for leakage, the
                                                                           narrows section has been
                                                                           dewatered for a century.
photography by thomas o’keefe

              Sediment solution
    Beginning in 006, FERC has been trying to figure out what to do with
    Condit Dam. Much of the problem lay in the . million cubic yards of
                    sediment buried beneah the surface.

     n 16, shortly after PacifiCorp’s license      and FERC realized the chronic effects of
     expired, the Federal Energy Regulatory          maintaining the dam would be far more destructive
     Commission (FERC) reviewed PacifiCorp’s         than the short-term trauma of removing it.
     plans for bringing the 15-foot-high dam into     In 1, a negotiated settlement between
compliance.                                          environmental and recreational organizations and
  At the time, both PacifiCorp and FERC rejected     PacifiCorp advocated removal. After a second
removing the dam in favor of modifying it for fish   environmental analysis, FERC agreed—with
passage. PacifiCorp quickly realized, however,       some caveats. The next two pages summarize
removal was more cost-effective than modification    the primary options considered in 16 and then
                                                     in 00.

6 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                             The impacts of Condit Dam
                                                                                             reveal themselves in biology,
                                                                                             recreation, and ecology.

                   1996 FERC removal options                    build a 1,000-foot diversion tunnel and gate capable
               Basic upgrades, $9.39 million                    of withstanding a five-year flood.
        Upgrade turbines, generators, transformers and            The project would require a series of cofferdams to
      electrical auxiliaries for more efficiency.               divert the water and the transformation of 50 acres of

Photo by Rebecca Sherman        Photo by Rebecca Sherman                Photo by Daniel Dancer      Photo by Tomas O’Keefe

        The plan would also create a tailrace barrier           privately owned pear orchard into a sediment disposal
      to protect fish. These upgrades would increase            site.
      megawatt production from 1. to 15. while reducing        PacifiCorp would transport much of the one- to-
      by 100 cfs the amount of water necessary for energy       two million cubic yards of sediment and 50,000 cubic
      production.                                               yards of loose concrete to the disposal site using off-
                                                                highway haul vehicles. To get the sediment from the
      FERC additions to upgrades, $24 million                   dry lakebed to the disposal site, the energy company
        FERC’s version of the plan adds to PacifiCorp’s         would have to build a .5 mile road for access. Total
      proposal to include upstream/downstream fish              time: one year.
      passage, spillway modifications, seasonal ramp rates,
      gravel enhancement, post-installation monitoring           Removed, wet excavation, $83 million
      studies, and converting the dam from a peaking/             This operation would require the .5-mile, temporary
      pulsing operation to a run-of-river operation.            road, 1,000-foot diversion tunnel and cofferdams. It
                                                                would also require a diesel-driven hydraulic cutter
       Removed, sediment flushed, $35 million                   head, which would dredge into the entire lake, starting
        To remove the dam, PacifiCorp would draw down the       at the upstream end, working its way toward the
      lake with scheduled spills for two to three months. For   dam.
      the next two years, a diversion tunnel would transport      A floating pipeline would transport the dredged slurry
      the lake’s remaining sediments around the dam and         to the shore, where a pump would push it uphill to the
      back into the riverbed.                                   disposal site. With a connecting pipe, this disposal site
        Once back, the current would push the sediment          would drain the water and suspended-silt to a smaller
      downstream, where it would likely form a delta in the     treatment pond.
      Bonneville Pools at the White Salmon’s mouth. FERC
      eliminated this method as a viable option.                  Partial dam removal, $67.066 million
        “The river would not flush these sediments from           Partial removal would decrease the height of the
      this wide shallow area for 10-0 years, creating an       15-foot dam to 5 feet and eliminate two million
      unacceptable situation from a fisheries stand point.”     cubic yards of sediment from the lake-bottom.
                                                                  The plan would require an intake and pipeline, the
        Removed, dry excavation, $72 million                    disposal of two million cubic yards of wet sediment
        To de-water Northwestern Lake, PacifiCorp would         and the construction of a new hydropower diversion

                                                       n Winter 011 n RESTORE n           

 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n   Photo by Thomas O’Keefe
                                                                                       Husum Falls and Double Drop
                                                                                       are a few of the rapids that
                                                                                       attract thousands of paddlers.

at the head of Northwestern Lake that would release          the advantage of a dry lakebed. The dam would be
00 cfs into the .-mile bypass reach. This would           gone in one year. FERC predicts this method would
provide full fish passage and eliminate the need to          release a lethal amount of sediment downstream that
remove the trapped silt.                                     would eliminate entire fish populations, scour a .-acre
  The signature of the partial removal option is the         wetland and, for two years, bury the spawning beds
construction of a waterfall directly downstream of the       at the Bonneville Pools at the mouth of the Columbia.
removed dam.                                                 PacifiCorp would mitigate these temporary impacts
  The intent of this system is to allow upstream and         through engineering, fish capture and hatchery, and
downstream fish and kayak passage.                           the development of several programs.
—FERC Environmental Impact Statement (EIS),                     “In the 16 FEIS, we concluded that the no-
  October 16; retrieved from:    sediment treatment would be unacceptable because
idmws/common/OpenNat.asp?fileID=11010                     it would result in the long-term (10-to 0-year)
               2002 FERC removal option                      deposition of sediments …” the 00 FERC EIS says.
  1.) Settlement Agreement: Twenty-three signatories         “[T]he issue [with no sediment treatment] is where the
agreed to cap PacifiCorp’s liability at $17.15 million (in   sediments are deposited, not how they get there.”
1999 value). The plan calls for PacifiCorp to excavate          The plan earned the support of  vested interests,
a 1-foot-high by 1-foot-wide drain tunnel at the           ranging from those representing conservation and
base of Condit Dam. Models predict this would drain          fishing to utilities and the Yakama Nation. FERC
the lake at a rate of 10,000 cubic feet per second           amended the settlement agreement with additional
and would flush 65 to 0 percent of the sediment             mitigations. This plan provides the blueprint for
downstream. In six hours, Northwestern Lake would            removal in October 011.
be gone.                                                        --Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (2002).
  Using rock-quarrying techniques, PacifiCorp crews          Final Environmental Impact Statement. Washington
would then remove the dam and power station with             D.C. pp. B-6.

    Photo by Thomas O’Keefe

                                                    n Winter 011 n RESTORE n       
                                                   The end of an era began with
                                                   deconstruction in 2007 and
                                                   with a 2008 organized breach.

0 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                  The $225 million settlement
                                                                                  to remove Milltown Dam was
                                                                                  reached in 1998.
photography by thomas o’keefe

             Undoing the harm
    Mining turned Milltown into one of the nation’s largest Superfund sites.
         The removal of -year-old Mill Town Dam is changing that.

           few months after copper mining tycoon of 2006. Crews initiated the drawdown process in
           William Clark had completed the Milltown 2007 by first excavating 700,000 cubic yards of toxic
           Dam in the summer of 1908, a series of sediment. They breached the dam in 2008. And in
           torrential rains flooded the Clark Fork the coming years, the river will redeposit 300,000
Valley, washing millions of                                                          tons of non-toxic sediment
tons of mine waste from the                                                          downstream.
Butte shafts—arsenic, copper,            MILLTOWN DAM                                  “We all know Montana is
lead, zinc—toward the base of                                                        perfect,” Sen. Max Baucus,
                                      n 00 removal reconnected Clark
Mill Town Dam.                                                                       D-Montana, told a crowd
                                      Fork and Blackfoot Rivers
   For the next 100 years, the                                                                   gathered at the
                                      n Milltown
toxic sediment contaminated                                                                      dam during the
                                      Dam part of
anything it contacted—river                                                                      March 2008
                                      West’s largest
water, drinking water, aquatic                                                                   breach. “And
                                      Superfund site                    MILLTOWN DAM
life, and the sediment that                                                                      today we are
                                      n All but
accumulated at the dam every                                                                     making it more
                                      seven Montana
second of every day.                                                                             perfect.”
                                      Superfund sites
   By 2008, scientists estimated                                                                   In time,
                                      are mining related
6.6 million cubic yards of                                                                       200,000 fish—
                                      n ARCO took
sediment had settled at the                                                                      trout, suckers,
                                      responsibility for part of cleanup
dam’s base. And every once                                                          pike minnows— will swim
                                      n To see video, go to: http://www.
in a while, a flood or an ice                                                       past the dam. And already,
jam would send a pulse of                                                           scientists have marveled at
toxic water over the dam and                                                        how quickly aquatic life has
downstream, resulting in                                                             rebounded in the renewed
periodic destruction of fish and                                                    river.
insect populations.                                         “Over the last few years, almost three million cubic
   This happened in 1996, when an ice jam scoured the yards of sediment has gone, and remediation is almost
toxic sediment from above the hydroelectric dam and complete,” Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist
gushed it downstream.                                     Dave Schmettering told The Missoulian and a crowd
   The resulting fish kill—combined with contaminated of fishing guides last March. “And it’s had an effect on
drinking water and a 1983 Superfund listing— the watershed.
compelled the Environmental Protection Agency to            "The impacts of the dam removal are now behind
order in 2004 the dam’s removal, and the dredging us by a couple years. We’re going to see lots more
and disposal of the sediment.                             diversity, and not just the pollution-tolerant insects
   The $225 million project began in the summer or the ones that were limited to certain substrates.”

                                                  n Winter 011 n RESTORE n    31
                                                                  Removal of Cove Dam provided
                                                                  30 miles of critical habitat to a
                                                                  threatened species.
photography by idaho parks and recreation

                               A fair trade
   To pay for the removal of the Bear River’s Cove Dam, conservationists
  had to give up 1 cfs. In return, they got 0 miles of restored river habitat.

           p until October 2006, the Bear River began
           its 500-mile journey to the Great Salt Lake in
           eastern Utah’s Unita Mountains, 100 miles
           away. Along the way, the river visited Wyo-
ming and Idaho, and then Wyoming again before it
circled back into the state of its origin and spilling into its
  In those 500 miles, the Bear River plummeted over six
dams and, for 26,000 feet, funneled through an open,
concrete and wooden flume. The Bear River’s journey from
the Unita Mountains to the Great Salt Lake is still basically
the same today as it was in September 2006—except for
one small, but significant detail: It now plummets over five
dams, not six. And no longer does it have to funnel around
Black Canyon in a six-mile-long wooden flume.

 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                  The key to agreement was
                                                                                  17 cubic feet per second of

  This, due to a creative solution proposed by an           Both sides took the deal.
energy company official and the willingness of              The agreement freed up 30 miles of river, restored
conservationists, such as Idaho Rivers United, habitat to the threatened Bonneville Cutthroat Trout,
American Whitewater and Trout Unlimited, to work and guaranteed whitewater releases for paddling
with it.                                                  enthusiasts. “Reestablishing as much connectivity as
  PacifiCorp had agreed in 2002                                                  possible will help that species
to strongly consider removing the                                                to survive,” says Kevin Lewis,
unproductive 26-foot-high by 140-
foot-wide Cove Dam and all of its
                                            BEAR RIVER                           conservation director for Idaho
                                                                                 Rivers United. “Reestablishing
facilities. But that removal would        n Cove Dam                             a habitat where fish can move
have cost the company more than           included a 6,000-                     up and down the river is a big
$3 million.                               foot flume, through                    win.”
  And PacifiCorp hadn’t included          which the entire river                    A hundred years ago, the
the costs of Cove Dam’s removal in        was transported to                     Bonneville Cutthroat Trout
its budget. The only money it could       a powerhouse at                        migrated freely through
devote to its decommissioning             the bottom of Black                                 the Bear River.
would have to come from other             Canyon.                                             They were easy
funds, such as the habitat                n 006 removal                                      to catch, highly
mitigation fund.                          restored 0 miles of          COVE DAM              nutritious and
  “No one wanted to give up               habitat for the native                              plentiful to the
their fund,” says Charlie Vincent,        Bonneville Cutthroat                                point of being a
a regional representative for             Trout.                                              nuisance. For 70
American Whitewater. “So we               n $ million-removal                                years, starting
looked at grants. But grants are          was paid for by extra energy           in the 1850s, communities
for thousands of dollars. Not             produced from 1 cfs.                  near the Bear River relied
millions.”                                n Was one of six on the 500-           on the Bonneville Cutthroat
  After 10 months of dead ends,           mile-long Bear River.                  Trout for food and for trade.
PacifiCorp project manager Monte          n Cove Dam was built in the            And that intense reliance,
Garrett asked if the signatories          World War I era.                       combined with six World
would be willing to give PacifiCorp                                              War I-era dams, strained
17 cfs of water.                                                                 the species’ survival. Now, it
  Up until 2002, you see,                                                        is listed on Utah’s Sensitive
PacifiCorp had the right to funnel all of the water Species list.
around the six-mile-long Black Canyon and pump it           The removal of Cove Dam, however, represents a
through a powerhouse at the end of the gorge.             possible comeback point for the Bonneville Cutthroat
  The agreement of 2002, however, mandated the Trout. And the opportunity revealed itself in the non-
release of 80 cfs into Black Canyon—an amount functioning flume of Cove Dam.
devoted to restoring some habitat for the Bonneville        “The flume had become a significant maintenance
Cutthroat Trout. Garrett calculated that PacifiCorp problem,” says Dave Eskelsen, spokesman for
could pay the $3 million removal bill with the extra PacifiCorp’s subsidiary Utah Power. “It would have
revenues generated from an additional 17 cubic feet required wholesale maintenance construction. As
per second of water.                                      we looked at the work required to operate Cove, it
  The environmental groups concerned with the made more sense for our electricity customers to
health of the fish, in turn, realized habitat recovery decommission the project than to perform this kind
could work with 63 cfs, nearly as well as with 80 cfs. of work needed to keep it running.”

                                                  n Winter 011 n RESTORE n        33
                                                                                  Gold Ray Dam, pictured
                                                                                  below, was the last of the four
                                                                                  Rogue River dams to fall.
photography by thomas o’keefe

        The Rogue runs wild
         In a matter of three years, four of the Rogue River’s five dams
        have become non-existent, freeing up more than 150 river miles.

          ince the end of the last century, some        them.
          dam removals have required a decade of          But these were all unfulfilled promises.
          coordination and negotiation. It requires       “The salmon piled up below it and wouldn’t go
          scientific analysis of stream habitat,        through the dark tunnel of a fishway,” wrote local Glen
spawning beds, sedimentation, turbidity and             Woolridge in his 1982 book, The Rogue: A River to
countless other details to which most humans are        Run. “It destroyed more salmon than the commercial
oblivious. Deconstruction itself can cost millions of   fishermen ever caught.”
dollars and much more time than exists on the dam-        And so, in 1912, a group of vigilantes dynamited
owner’s license.                                        a portion of the Ament Dam. In 1921, it was legally
  But in 1902, all removing a dam required was a        removed, the first of the Rogue River dams to be
group of angry men and a few sticks of dynamite.        removed. In the nine decades since, four of the
  The Golden Drift Mining Company had promised          Rogue River’s dams have aged into obsolescence
the people of Grants Pass, Oregon, that its dam would   and expensive maintenance. This combined with the
provide the community with irrigation water and         Rogue’s status as one of the nation’s original eight Wild
power generation. The fish tunnel would still allow     and Scenic Rivers and Oregon’s most active salmon
salmon to run the river freely, the company assured     run, has encouraged dam owners to take them out.

 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                    Just one dam remains between
                                                                                    the upper Rogue, pictured
                                                                                    below, and the Pacific.
photography by rich bowers

  GOLD hILL, JULY 2008                                                     a means of providing irrigation water
  Even after the Gold Hill Dam
stopped producing electricity
                                     ROGUE RIVER                           to local farmers. The installation of
                                                                           12 irrigation pumps, which provide
in the 1970s, the city of Gold      n Was one of the original              water to 7,500 acres in the Grants
Hill kept it around for water       eight rivers                                 Pass valley, however, rendered
diversion. But in 2006, the         included in                                  the 89-year-old dam useless. In
eight-foot-high dam lost that       the 16                                     April 2009, construction crews
purpose as well, when the city      Wild and             ROGUE RIVER
                                                                                 began the five-month process
installed a pumping station         Scenic                                       that re-connected an additional
to deliver its water, allowing      Rivers Act.                                  50 miles of river.
the Rogue's second-greatest         n Rogue
hindrance to fish passage to be     is Oregon's                                     GOLD RAY, AUGUST 2010
removed.                            most                                            After Gold Ray Dam stopped
                                    prolific salmon spawning river.         producing hydroelectricity in 1972,
  ELK CREEK , JULY 2008             n Removal of four dams freed            Jackson County, Oregon, assumed
  Not so long ago, Elk Creek        150 miles of river and more             responsibility of this 106-year-old,
provided spawning habitat for       than 500 miles of tributaries.          38-foot-high dam from Pacific Power.
30 percent of the Rogue River’s     n The Rogue's water quality             Maintenance costs quickly convinced
Chinook and coho. But in the        is rated between 5 and               the County to decommission the dam
1980s, construction began—          on the Oregon Water Quality             and remove it.
and 80 vertical feet later halted   Index.                                     So did the Oregon Department of
on the Elk Creek Dam. The                                                    Fish and Wildlife’s listing of the dam
massive concrete obstruction                                               as the state’s fifth-highest priority for
blocked fish travel for 30 years and offered no benefit   removal or modification. In August 2010, with the help
in return. In July 2008, the Army Corps of Engineers      of $5 million of stimulus funds, construction crews
blew a river-wide notch in the dam with a series of       drained a slough causing a cofferdam connected to a
blasts, enabling that portion of river to flow free.      sand spit to fail.
                                                            Most of the slough drained, which exposed the
 SAVAGE RAPIDS, OCTOBER 2009                              original log dam and freed up more than 157 miles of
 The Savage Rapids Dam replaced the Ament Dam as          the Rogue River.

                                                  n Winter 011 n RESTORE n       35
                                                                                    The 2009 removal of Savage
                                                                                    Rapids Dam reconnected 500
                                                                                    miles of stream.
photography by thomas o’keefe

     Survival is more likely
                       For fish, the removal of Savage Rapids Dam
                               means a better chance at life.

     f you’re a juvenile Coho                                                 is the other half of that label.)
     making your way along
     Oregon’s Rogue River
                                    SAVAGE RAPIDS                               It is also part of the reason a
                                                                              salmon traveling the Rogue after
     to the two-year-long            n Dam impacted 500 miles                 2009 would no longer encounter
feast awaiting you in the            of upstream                                     the gauntlet that once was
Pacific Ocean, you’d have            spawning habitat                                Savage Rapids Dam.
already survived as many as          n Removed                                         But the main reason you,
three other dams. And you            00                   ROGUE RIVER              the juvenile coho, no longer
might be feeling good about          n Economists                                    have to worry about that
that.                                expect the wild                                 3.5-mile traverse and the
  That good feeling would            river will lead                                 murderous elevator is that
disappear at river mile              to $5 million                                   the dam had simply become
107, however, when you’d             of additional                                   obsolete. It was built in 1921
encounter something of               economic activity                             to provide irrigation water
a medieval fish gauntlet.            Was primarily devoted                  to the Grants Pass agricultural
In the 3.5-mile placid               to irrigation                          community. It never provided flood-
pool just ahead, you’d                                                      control or electricity. And its costs
see a congregation of                                                       far out-weighed its benefits.
pikeminnow, the predator                                                     “A lot of people lead more with
that accounts for so many of your fellow species          emotion and don’t want change,” said Grants Pass
deaths every year. Hovering above you, you’d sense        Irrigation District Manager Dan Shepherd in a
the acute attention of a Great Blue Heron or two. And WaterWatch short film about the Savage Rapids
all around you, you’d see nothing but placid water        removal. “But the district had to look at change to be
with few places to hide. Your prospects suddenly          able to survive and go into the future. There would be
seem hopeless.                                            in the future some very big costs to keeping the dam.
  But millions of years of evolution have programmed Which is no doubt above the districts ability to do it.”
you to continue. And so you do. Often at your peril.        Contingent on an agreement for the irrigation
  If somehow you survive the 3.5-mile traverse, your district's ability to provide irrigation water through
fate hinges on the functionality of an 88-year-old fish- a new 12-pump system, the Bureau of Reclamation
elevator. You might feel safe here. But you shouldn’t. began removing the dam in 2006. It completed the
Instead of depositing juveniles in the bubbling pool $40 million removal in October 2009.
below the Savage Rapids Dam, the elevator sometimes         The elimination of Savage Rapids Dam re-opened
deposits them into the dam’s pumps or into its turbines. 500 miles of salmon and steelhead spawning habitat
Either route ends with the same result: death.            on upstream tributaries, including an additional 50
  This is half the reason federal fish agencies referred miles on the Rogue itself. This has fish biologists
to this 88-year-old dam as the Rogue River’s most estimating the annual return of an additional 114,000
prolific fish-killer. (The dam’s convoluted fish ladder adult salmon and steelhead to the river.

6 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n

                       SAVAGE RAPIDS DAM

WaterWatch is a coalition member and a front-row advocate for all Rogue River dam removals.
To see video of the dam’s removal, check out

                                          n Winter 011 n RESTORE n   37
                                                                                      Milll Pond Dam hasn’t pro-
                                                                                      duced energy since the
photography by rebecca sherman

            An elegant solution
   Stakeholders discover Mill Pond’s solution in Boundary Dam’s problem.

            obody wanted Mill Pond Dam. It was 98          With its 8,500 ratepayers, the Pend Oreille PUD
            years old. Its wooden flume had already        could not afford the estimated $15 million removal
            collapsed and meshed with the surround-        and restoration process.
            ing slate, cedar and pine. Worst of all, it      And so, for about a year, 17 federal, state, local, tribal
hadn’t produced a single watt of electricity since 1958.   and environmental agencies and groups brainstormed
It didn’t store water. And at 50 feet tall, it committed   strategies to pay the bill.
all the sins of the nation’s most harmful dams: It pre-      Meanwhile, in 2008, Seattle City Light was
vented the free-flow of sediment downstream and cut        contemplating the conditions of relicensing its 350-
Bull Trout from 18 miles of habitat.                       foot-high Boundary Dam. One of those conditions
  Everyone, including its owner, the Pend Oreille          required the restoration of Bull Trout and other native
Public Utility District, agreed the dam should go.         species in the watershed. To do this, Seattle City Light
  Paying for that process was the entire problem.          would have had to find a suitable stream for habitat

 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                                    Seattle City Light recognized
                                                                                    Sullivan Creek’s value as a
                                                                                    cold water tributary.

restoration or decrease the temperature of the Pend affairs for the Pend Oreille PUD. “We’ve been trying
Oreille River. This is an impossible task, considering to put generation in there since. The last time we tried,
the Pend Oreille drains 25,000 cubic miles, starting the conditions made power too expensive.”
in Montana. Even in September, it gushes 15,000             So in 2003, the PUD gave up. It asked the Federal
cubic feet per second.                                    Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC] for permission
   In the winter of 2009, U.S. Forest Service             to surrender the project.
representatives Glen Koehn and Kristen Bonanno              Before FERC could agree, American Whitewater and
helped put the two interests                                                       the United States Forest Service
together. Sullivan Creek,                                                            appealed the request.
they argued, was the biggest                                                           American Whitewater
tributary in the Boundary             SULLIVAN CREEK                                 and the Forest Service were
Dam area and as such,               n Is the most significant cold water             concerned Pend Oreille PUD
represented Seattle City            stream in the Pend Oreille                              would simply walk
Light’s best hope for cold          watershed                                               away from the 50-
water and Bull Trout habitat.       n Removal of Mill                                       foot obstruction and
The removal of Mill Pond            Pond Dam would                                          let it decay into the
Dam would satisfy these two         open 16 miles of                                        landscape.
                                                                       SULLIVAN CREEK
conditions of relicensing for       cold water habitat                                        “There’s all these
Seattle City Light.                 n Settlement                                            dams around the
   As it happens, Seattle           agreement signed                                        country that no one
City Light had been                 March 010; FERC                                        owns and no one
anxious to demonstrate              expected to approve settlement                        manages,” says Kevin
its own commitment to its           agreement in the fall 011                       Colburn, stewardship
stewardship mission and             n The Lands Council, Selkirk                     director for American
this, officials agreed, was a       Conservation Alliance, American                  Whitewater. “We were very
perfect opportunity.                Whitewater helped form solution.                 concerned the same thing
   “We’re very excited about                                                         could happen to this one. A
it,” says Barbara Greene, a                                                          lot of the project had already
project manager for Seattle                                                          been abandoned. The flume
City Light. “This gives us a chance to pursue our         that carried water for the hydro project was allowed
stewardship goals. When they asked us to come to          to disintegrate. Decades ago, they had poured
the negotiation process in the winter of 2009, we         cement into the turbines of the powerhouse. And it
were very excited.”                                       stopped generating power in the mid-50s.”
   All 17 parties signed the agreement, which plans         Cauchy, Pend Oreille PUD’s director of regulatory
for the removal of Mill Pond Dam. This will free up and environmental affairs, doesn’t disagree.
all 18 miles of Sullivan Creek from Pend Oreille Lake       “We didn’t know what was going to happen to the
to its mouth on Pend Oreille River. Consensus—even dam,” he says. “Our intention was to have an open
ambivalent consensus—is a welcome destination mind in negotiations. Potentially, the dam could have
for any relicensing journey. Considering where this stayed. It could have had fish passage. Or it could have
debate started, however, consensus seems almost been removed. We didn’t know.”
miraculous. Mill Pond Dam hadn’t produced a watt            In the end, however, everyone got what they wanted.
of electricity since 1954 and in 2008, the license for And in less than a decade, Sullivan Creek will run free
Pend Oreille PUD to operate it, would expire.             for the first time since 1908.
   “We’ve had that project since 1958,” says Mark           “This one was very, very cool,” says Colburn. "It was
Cauchy, director of regulatory and environmental an elegant solution.”

                                                   n Winter 011 n RESTORE n       39
  cur rent
                                                                                Construction on the Ashlu
                                                                                reveals the so-called “minimal
                                                                                impacts” of small hydro.
photography by brian smith and rich bowers

                            Power rush
    British Columbia has marketed its signature resource as green energy.
          Their impacts, however, are not be so green, or easy to sell.

           ritish Columbia’s resigning Premier          Hydro. “Meanwhile, exports collapsed by 50 percent
           spent much of August 2010 peddling           in 2009/2010.”
           his signature product—run-of-river             This, coupled with reduced energy demand
           hydropower—to his province’s biggest         throughout the province has the economist
potential customer: The state of California.            suspicious.
  With the prospects of a sale in California growing      “As the evidence of need for more electricity in BC
dim, however, the premier has now shifted his pitch     is not apparent, the aggressive borrowing/investing/
to Oregon and Washington.                               contracting with IPPs is plain wrong,” he concludes.
  Finding a buyer for the surplus of energy British       The day after Gordon Campbell became the premier
Columbia has generated off run-of-river hydro has       of British Columbia in 2001, he made good on his
become a provincial controversy, as the price of that   vow to reduce personal income taxes by 25 percent.
energy has become more apparent.                        In his first year, he cut most corporate income taxes
  “[BC] Hydro is paying IPPs more than double           and eliminated the Corporation Capital Tax. To pay
the open market rates prevailing in western North       for these cuts, Campbell sold off some of British
America,” wrote economist Erik Andersen in his          Columbia’s most prized assets — its ferry and railway
August 16, 2010 article Sinister Vectors at BC          system and the power producing core of BC Hydro.

0 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
  cur rent
                                                                                     In 2007, the Ashlu was one of
                                                                                     38 contracts awarded to Inde-
                                                                                     pendent Power Producers.

   In 2002, Campbell introduced BC's new Energy             Columbia's energy and government officials. Their
Plan, which transformed BC Hydro, the province-             pitch: Just relax your standards a little bit so we can
owned power producer and provider — into a                  sell you our power.
middleman. The plan allowed private corporations              British Columbia is as blessed with steep, cold rivers
to compete for permits at an application fee of             as Utah is with canyons; as Wyoming is with wildlife;
$5,000 or $10,000, build and operate a hydropower           as Hawaii is with beaches.
facility on one of British Columbia’s creeks and then         And Campbell, the province’s pro-business
guarantee the sale of the power back to BC Hydro for        premier, has devoted much of his nine-year term
25 years.                                                                             trying to capitalize on his
   This plan,                                                                         province’s hip, and lucrative
Campbell                                                                              natural resource.
assured British                                                                         To do this, however,
Columbia’s                                                                            Campbell and parliament
citizens, would                                                                       have stripped local
transform                                                                             communities’ authority to
their province                                                                        zone with the 2006 Ashlu
from an energy                                                                        Bill.
importer into                                                                           “Let’s just say a local
an energy                                                                             government says ‘we don’t
exporter. And                                                                         want this development going
the product                                                                           on in this area,’ says Shane
couldn’t have                                                                         Simpson, the environmental
been more appropriate for its era.                          critic for British Columbia’s New Democratic Party.
   2002 was also the year California passed legislation,    “The province says ‘tough luck.’ I think that’s
which established a 2010 mandate that 20 percent of         fair to say this government was anxious to allow
the state’s electricity derive from renewable resources.    Independent Power Producers to proceed and they
To get this renewable energy, the state is willing to pay   weren’t going to let municipal governments stand in
double what it pays for non-renewable energy.               the way.”
   “We have enormous resources in British Columbia,”          As a result, scores of developers are harvesting
Campbell told a conference of Independent Power             hundreds of British Columbia’s most pristine
Producers in November 2009. “And those resources            streams—many of them whitewater gems—for
allow us to provide not just the people that live in this   energy.
province with green and clean, low-carbon power, it           “It’s like the Wild West,” Simpson says. “There’s a
allows us to expand our horizons to build an economy        lot of people making a lot of money up here. Many of
... and we have to do that together, and that means we      those licenses were bought up by Liberal Party friends
have to do that with the independent power producers        and insiders. We see it as a great give-away from the
of British Columbia.”                                       public to the private.”
   Unfortunately for BC Hydro, California law excludes        For the 4.4 million citizens of British Columbia, this
most of the excess energy generated by British              is a huge loss, which they are already realizing in the
Columbia’s run-of-river projects from the category of       form of escalating power charges.
renewable energy because most of British Columbia’s           To harvest its natural resources, the province has
run-of-river standards conflict with California’s           gutted its publicly-owned utility, BC Hydro, stripped
environmental standards.                                    communities of their authorities to zone land, and
   Campbell’s August 2010 visit was the most recent         leaned heavily on run-of-river projects to build energy
in a string of unsuccessful lobbying efforts by British     surpluses, which it is realizing, it can't sell.

                                                   n Winter 011 n RESTORE n      1

And the 2010 awards go to ...

n     Near Stewart; on Long Lake; 1 megawatts
n     Near Port McNeill; on the Kokish River; 5 megawatts
                                                                                                                l l
                                                                                                l                l
                                                                                                        l         l
n     Near Golden; on the Beaver River; 1 megawatts
                                                                                                                 l ll
                                                                                                l               l l l
                                                                                                 l l
n     Near Pemberton; on: North Creek; 16 megawatts                                                                l
                                                                                                                   ll l
                                                                                                                      ll l
                                                                                                                      l l
                                                                                                                  l l ll
n     Near Port Mellon; on Box Canyon; 15 megawatts                                                               l
                                                                                                                       ll l
                                                                                                                        nl l l
n     Near Mission; on the Stave River; 1 megawatts
                                                                                                                          SUPER, NA
                                                                                                                    l                                  l

n     Near Gold Bridge; on Jamie Creek; 1 megawatts                                                               ll      n
                                                                                                                          BRITISH C
                                                                                                                 l l
                                                                                                                  ll l
n     Near McBride; on Benjamin Creek; 6 megawatts                                                               ll

                                                                                                                          l                                 l
n     Near Squamish; on Culliton Creek; 15 megawatts                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                      l l

                                                                                                                             and co
n     Near Squamish; on Mamquam Creek; 5 megawatts                                                                         l
                                                                                                                           l l ll l
                                                                                                                         ll ll

n     Near Pemberton; on the Upper Lillooet River;  megawatts                                                          l l l
                                                                                                                            l l l
n     Near Harrison Hot Springs; on Bremner and Trio creeks; 5 megawatts

n     Near Harrison Hot Springs; on Tretheway Creek; 1 megawatts                                                             l
n     Near Powell River; on the Upper Toba River; 1 megawatts                                                                        l

n     Near Harrison Hot Springs; on Shovel Creek;  megawatts
                                                                                                                                          ll l
                                                                                                                                           l l
                                                                                                                                          lll l l
n    Near Terrace; on the Dasque-Middle River; 0 megawatts                                                                               ll l
                                                                                                                                           ll ll
                                                                                                                                        llll ll l
                                                                                                                                          l    lll l l l
                                                                                                                                                 l l
                                                                                                                                                l l l
n     Near Sechelt; on Ramona , Chickwat and CC creeks; 5 megawatts
                                                                                                                                               l l ll l
                                                                                                                                                   ll l
                                                                                                                                   ll l ll
                                                                                                                                     lll l lll
n     Near Pemberton; on Boulder Creek;  megawatts                                                                                 l
                                                                                                                                        ll l
                                                                                                                                            ll l
l     Projects proposed or operating prior to 010                                                                                                  l
* 2010 project data compiled from                                                         l ll
power/clean_power_call.html. Other data compiled from To see                                                         l       l
an interactive map with details of each of BC’s proposed and operating run-of-river projects,                                                            l

 n RESTORE n Winter 011 n
                                                                  the great creek

                                                  BC Hydro announced in August 010 the last of
                                                1 private corporations to receive a permit to build
                                                a small-river hydropower project. British Columbia’s
                                                 energy department awarded permits to a total of 
 l                                               energy companies this year alone for energy they
                                                 mostly do not need.These projects are the most re-
                                                  cent of  awarded to or proposed by Independent
                                                  Power Producers since BC Hydro began outsourc-
                                                  ing its power production to private industry in 00.
                                                    This 1,10 percent increase in proposed run-of-

                           l    l
                                                   river projects represent the province’s aggressive
                                      nl l ll         move to harvest one of its most abundant natu-
                                           l    l
                                                              ral resources, at significant environmental
                                           l l ll
                                              l    l
                                                                 costs. To achieve this, British Columbia has
                                                lll l
                                                      l ll
                                                                       stripped zoning authority from commu-
                                                                            nities, and bankrupted its once proud
                                                      l      l
                                                      l l ll
                                                         ll l
                                                                  l ll
                                                             n l llll ll public utility. The province’s ener-
                                                         l     l
                                                           lll    l
         ll l
         l l
        lll l ll l
                                                                       l l
                                                                     ll l l l        gy strategy has garnered deri-
                   l l                                                   l
                  ll l
                     l                                              l ll
                                                                               l l
                                                                                         sion from progressives and
                                                                           l l
                      n                            l
                                                                                 l           fiscal conservatives. And
 ll l
  l l
 ll l
 ll l
            ll l
             l l
            lll l
                                         n                          l
                                                                      l l
                                                                                    l l
                                                                                      l         the prime minister’s re-
  ll         ll
llll ll l ll l                                                                  l
     lll l l nn
 ll       ll l
          ll                                  l                                 l ll l
 l ll l
    lllll ll n
     ll ll
                                                                             l    l
                                                                                  l              cent efforts to sell the
      l llll l l                                                             l l l
                                                                                                  province’s surplus of
          lll l                                                               l      l l
          ll l                         l l                                            l
                  l l
           lll l l l       ll l l l ll l
                            l l l       l                                          l
           l l lll         lll lll l lll l                                       l
          lllll l l n l l
                lll n
             l                      l ll                                                l
           ll      l l
                 lll ll l
                                 ll l l l
            l lll ll l llll l l l l l ll
                           l ll ll l l l l
                               l l
                                       l l
                                    l l ll
                                    l    ll        l                             l l
                                                                                    l ll l         premium energy to
                                ll n ll l
                  l l l           l
              nlll lllll lllll l nll l l
                   l ll
                ll l l l
               llln l
                l        l
                                  l      ll
                                             l                                                      California has so
                               l n
                ll l l                   ll                                      l l l
                       l        l
                              ll l         ll                                     l        l
       l        l      l
                        n l lll llll l
                                   l   l
                                                                                                    far failed.

                                                         n Winter 011 n RESTORE n     
The Columbia River Gorge’s
Oneonta Gorge, a free-flow-
ing creek.
Photo by Christian Knight

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