In October of 2011, the Condit Dam was removed after nearly a century of existence on the White Salmon River. The 2nd Annual Sense of Place lecture and float on the Lower White Salmon River, held on Sunday, September 21st 2014 is hosted by Go!, Jeanette Burkhardt of Yakama Nation Fisheries, and Wet Planet Rafting and Kayaking. This event aims to educate participants about the events leading up to the removal of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon and the transformations that have been occurring ever since. Plus, it will allow you the opportunity to experience the newly formed and opened river from the seat of a raft. For this special event, we will be floating the section launching at Wet Planet in Husum. We will float through the former reservoir, past the old dam site, through the gorgeous canyon of marked by Steel Head Falls (portaged), past the old power house, all the way into the Columbia River.
When the Condit Dam was breached in the fall of 2011, a century’s worth of pent-up silt, gravel, organic matter, and water-dunk logs were unleashed with the rush of water. Since this event, salmon and steelhead have returned to the river that they had spawned on for centuries prior. These events have signaled the start of a new phase for the White Salmon basin – one in which human inhabitants are now playing a key role.
Jeanette Burkhardt, a watershed planner for the Yakama Nation Fisheries, will explain the challenges the basin faces throughout the raft trip. She has been involved in salmon recovery planning, land use planning, education and restoration projects in the White Salmon Basin since 2005. Burkhardt will divulge and discuss current challenges the basin faces such as climate change and increasing development, why they are occurring, and what we can do to combat them.
Join us for this special raft trip beginning and ending at Wet Planet Rafting and Kayaking – located at 860 Highway 141 in Husum, Washington. Burkhardt will start the trip with a brief lecture at 12 pm. The cost is $50 (a $15 discount from the normal price) and part of the proceeds will be donated to the Go! organization in appreciation of their work for our wonderful Gorge community.
Author Hayley Spear spends her summers in the Columbia River Gorge and enjoys paddling, hiking, and exploring as often as she can.