Update 3/7/12: Friends of the White Salmon River fight new threat
OPB provides good coverage of the efforts by our allies at Friends of the White Salmon River and the Crag Law Center to oppose dense new development in the Wild and Scenic River Corridor. Riverkeeper's Brett VandenHeuvel represented Friends of the White Salmon on this same issue in 2006 and we prevailed. Now the threat of new wells new septic systems polluting the river is back. The White Salmon is a national gem. Thanks to all who are working to keep it that way.
Biologists and kayakers in Washington are eagerly watching how the White Salmon River evolves, in the wake of the recent removal of the Condit Dam. But area environmental groups find themselves focusing on the shores of the river these days. Rob Manning reports on a proposal to intensify development near the White Salmon River. Read the complete article.
Update 11/19/11: The River Returns
Riverkeeper's Executive Director, Brett VandenHeuvel tours the newly freed White Salmon River with the KGW News Team two-weeks after the blasting of Condit Dam. Watch the video clip below and view the full story here.
Watch the video of the demolition and newly-freed river
Brett VandenHeuvel provides a first-hand account of the historic day: the demolition event at the Condit Dam site; exploring the river; and evening celebrations.
At the dam site, the pre-blast warning sirens rang out, I held my breath, and felt the dynamite explosion shake the ground. We erupted in cheers and the White Salmon roared through a hole in the Condit Dam with the fury of a river that has been restrained for 98 years.
Check out this video of the blast and the newly-freed river – if you love rivers, it will make your spine tingle.
In the late 1990s, Columbia Riverkeeper (then Columbia River United) joined the Yakama Nation and conservation, fishing, and whitewater groups in opposing the relicensing of the dinosaur dam that produced only a tiny amount of power but blocked miles of critical salmon habitat. In 1999, we signed an agreement with PacifiCorp and several state and federal agencies that required the demolition of the dam. It’s been a long journey, but it all came together with one big boom.
The White Salmon River is now free
Rivers are incredibly resilient if we give them a chance to flow. Long may you run.
By 6pm, we moved to the Pint Shack in Hood River for Riverkeeper's BOOM party. We showed blast video and cheered and gawked, and cheered again! Long-time activists Jay Letto and Daniel Dancer spoke about their inspiring 20-year history of activism. Riverkeeper thanks all the amazing local activists who fought for a free White Salmon.
An Oregonian article highlights the work of Phyllis Clausen, river activist and former director of Friends of the White Salmon.
Thanks to Cloud Cap Technology for exclusive aerial footage and PacifiCorps for the river level blast shots.