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  1. #1
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    OT: Biggest Dam Removal Ever

    Tomorrow is the day they start tearing the two dams down on the Elwah River. It will be interesting to see what transpires over the next decade or two with the river and it's ecosystem.
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  2. #2
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    why

    I see your from NV. Why the removal?

  3. #3
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    Their removing the dams because the local Indian tribe, fisherman( inc. commercial) and ecological minded peeps say it's best and after 20+ years of arguing in court they won.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaFred View Post
    Their removing the dams because the local Indian tribe, fisherman( inc. commercial) and ecological minded peeps say it's best and after 20+ years of arguing in court they won.
    And Glines Canyon and Elwha dams only produce about 10-20% of the electricity that is used by the mill that they were originally built to power back in the early 20th century. The restored river will be a bigger economic generator for Port Angeles and the area -with rafting, kayaking, hobby fishing, general tourism and commercial fishing- than the dams are currently, and neither dam has fish ladders, thus their operating licenses were not renewed. It'll take years for the sediments in the river to settle out and reform a natural river channel and ecosystem, but when the project is finished, the Elwha will run wild from the summits of Olympic National Park to the Puget Sound and reinvigorate the salmon fishery and the river ecosystem.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm, sounds fishy...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Hmmm, sounds fishy...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Hmmm, sounds fishy...
    Well I'll be dam!

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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    but when the project is finished, the Elwha will run wild from the summits of Olympic National Park to the Puget Sound and reinvigorate the salmon fishery and the river ecosystem.
    Sounds good to me!!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaFred View Post
    It will be interesting to see what transpires over the next decade or two with the river and it's ecosystem.
    I wonder what happened to the river and it's ecosystem within the decade or two right after they built up the dam? Bet it changed up quite a bit, eh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by marpilli View Post
    I wonder what happened to the river and it's ecosystem within the decade or two right after they built up the dam? Bet it changed up quite a bit, eh?
    Ya think Forrest...

    My inquiry is more about if it'll change as predicted by all those supposedly in the know or ??? ... you know since they've been right about so many other environmental/ecological issues in the past
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  11. #11
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    Forrest? Really?

    I'm not the one worried about the enviomental and ecological impact of removing a man made dam and letting a river return to it's natural state.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaFred View Post
    Ya think Forrest...

    My inquiry is more about if it'll change as predicted by all those supposedly in the know or ??? ... you know since they've been right about so many other environmental/ecological issues in the past
    No dams even close to this large have ever been removed, anywhere. We DO KNOW all about the negative ecological impacts of building them in the first place and the scientists and engineers involved make it clear that they don't know EXACTLY how the process will unfold, but they all agree that the river, and the overall area, will be healthier and more diverse after the dams are removed.

    Are you privy to some special knowledge that proves that human engineering (and human hubris) is so much better than nature? Since I'm one of the "they" that you apparently dislike, please prove to me, and my fellow "in the know" types, how wrong we've been all these years.

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    First off they don't ALL agree it will be better.
    Many fish experts(scientists) are worried about the effects of the cross breeding between hatchery and wild fish... which will happen. The scientists are not sure how all the sediment that has been trapped behind the damns will effect downstream and the delta (thats a pretty big unknown if you ask me).
    I agree we effed up originally by building the damns in the first place...
    But now the question is how bad will we eff it up trying to fix it.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaFred View Post
    First off they don't ALL agree it will be better.
    Many fish experts(scientists) are worried about the effects of the cross breeding between hatchery and wild fish... which will happen. The scientists are not sure how all the sediment that has been trapped behind the damns will effect downstream and the delta (that's a pretty big unknown if you ask me).
    I agree we effed up originally by building the damns in the first place...
    But now the question is how bad will we eff it up trying to fix it.
    When you let nature go and let it do it's thing, Its surprisingly resilient and can recover if we just keep our toes out of the water. Take a look at Mnt. St. Helens. Everyone thought the place was going to be a waste land. Look at it now, its thriving with very little human intervention. .
    Granted building the dam was a bad idea in terms of the environment, but letting the water flow naturally will be better in the long term. The place will look like sh*t shortly afterwords, but give it time and it will heal

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    just remember to take all the dam pictures you want.

    J-

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    Yeah, because soon that dam thing will be gone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaFred View Post
    First off they don't ALL agree it will be better.
    Many fish experts(scientists) are worried about the effects of the cross breeding between hatchery and wild fish... which will happen. The scientists are not sure how all the sediment that has been trapped behind the damns will effect downstream and the delta (thats a pretty big unknown if you ask me).
    I agree we effed up originally by building the damns in the first place...
    But now the question is how bad will we eff it up trying to fix it.
    There aren't any new worries about hatchery fish breeding with wild fish as that is something that does already occur in all fisheries. It doesn't matter where the hatchery is (or are) since the only way to address the issue would be to close ALL hatcheries everywhere, which is not going to happen. For the Elwha in particular, it won't happen because of the politics of this particular project, namely the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe (see below).

    One worry about the Elwha is about non-native fish being stocked in the river from the hatchery. This issue is purely political as the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe wants to stock non-native cutthroat trout so that they have something to catch while they wait the 5 or more years for the sediment load to re-distrubute and sizable wild salmon to start running again. The tribe is using their political clout to force the issue against the recommendations of the "in the know" types...

    As for sediment, "they" know generally what will happen and how best to mitigate the impact of the tons of sediment that fill Aldwell and Mills reservoirs, but as every river system is different, the exact impacts cannot be predicted. So there aren't any big "unknowns," just little ones. Short of a once in a millennium rain/flood event (which would probably cause a disastrous over-topping of the dams anyway if they were still in place) the sediment mitigation plan should work well. Better yet, it is flexible and fluid enough to be altered should unexpected problems arise. Best case scenario, all of the sediment will have been distributed where is should be, naturally, in 5 years and the river flow regimes will work the way that nature intended. Perhaps we should leave things as they are because those "in the know" aren't omnipotent...

    FInd out specifics here: Welcome to the Elwha Watershed Information Resource | Elwha Watershed Information Resource
    Last edited by huntermos; 09-19-2011 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Link for more info

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    To the anonymous "repper' that so cleverly commented "dooooosh," take a look in the mirror...

    Not the first time someone neg repped me for knowing what I'm talking about, probably not the last as there are a few people out there are of the opinion that knowledge and expertise in a subject is lame. I guess ignorance is bliss. At least I don't pretend to know something when I don't. If you're calling me a "dooooosh" because I take exception to a comment that infers that those that work on these issues are wrong and continually F things up, I'm not one to give that attitude a pass. It's bad enough in this political climate that anyone that cares about environmental issues, or the scientific method for that matter, is ridiculed, called a liar and worse.

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    this was a hot topic in my wildlife ecology class.

    The natural ecosystem that was ubrupted after the building of the dam, will eventually go back to its natural state. Many Politicians are to stupid to understand how this happens. But it does happen.

    As for the sediment....Its going to make farming incredible somewhere down the line.

    But where the negatives are, there will be equal positives some where else

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    To the anonymous "repper' that so cleverly commented "dooooosh," take a look in the mirror...
    Hahahaha....
    Maybe they(anonymous) were right...
    Let's see, you've neg repped me twice(anonymously) .... have you not? So pot me kettle?
    I'm not defending man at all in this ... Actually the opposite, my position is we always eff it up. We effed it up then and we'll eff it up now.
    The only thing constant about science is that it's constantly changing... what they think they know today as correct we will find tomorrow as incorrect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaFred View Post
    Hahahaha....
    Maybe they(anonymous) were right...
    Let's see, you've neg repped me twice(anonymously) .... have you not? So pot me kettle?
    I'm not defending man at all in this ... Actually the opposite, my position is we always eff it up. We effed it up then and we'll eff it up now.
    The only thing constant about science is that it's constantly changing... what they think they know today as correct we will find tomorrow as incorrect.
    Yep, you know plutos not really a planet, so anything is possible.
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  22. #22
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    I wouldn't mind them tearing one down once in a while when appropriate if I thought we were still a culture capable of building one when necessary and appropriate.

  23. #23
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    Glen Canyon is next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    Are you privy to some special knowledge that proves that human engineering (and human hubris) is so much better than nature?
    I have no comment on whether the dam should be removed or not.

    But.... if man is an animal, isn't anything he does 'natural' for that animal.

    Birds build nests, coyotes build dens, and beavers build dams. All have some impact on the environment. If those are natural, why not man dams? We are just modifying the environment to improve our situation like every other animal on the planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dead_dog_canyon View Post
    I have no comment on whether the dam should be removed or not.

    But.... if man is an animal, isn't anything he does 'natural' for that animal.

    Birds build nests, coyotes build dens, and beavers build dams. All have some impact on the environment. If those are natural, why not man dams? We are just modifying the environment to improve our situation like every other animal on the planet.
    ^Never looked at it that way, very interesting perspective.
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