By Susan Hollingsworth

Earlier this week Portland’s KATU News aired a brief update on the removal of our own Condit Dam on the White Salmon River.  Recent movements from PacifiCorp suggest that the October 2011 forecasted date still stands.  As a member of the community, Wet Planet looks forward to the beginning of the deconstruction efforts.  Building Condit Dam in 1913 on White Salmon River, photo courtesy of

This short account presents the idea that the removal of this dam will affect many different people in various ways.  While many proponents of dam removal point toward the restored biological habitat, increase salmon spawning grounds and naturally free-flowing river; others show concern over the sediment dumping and loss of flatwater wildlife.

Balancing these viewpoints and arguments has been one of the biggest challenges throughout the decommissioning process.

Hopefully, the doubt and tension will all wash away as the river returns to its natural path.  While local community member’s lives will certainly change, especially those with direct connection to Northwestern Lake, it could just as easily end up being a blessing.

I can imagine sitting in front of the river flowing through my backyard as salmon jump up waterfalls may be a pretty pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

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