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Huge Conservation Wins: Elwha and White Salmon Rivers in Washington to Run Free

September 14th, 2011

For all of us who love rivers, it’s time to celebrate!

This Saturday, work begins on the largest river restoration project in history. Over the next three years, crews will work on dismantling the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams on the Elwha — an action that will allow the river to flow freely for the first time in 100 years and restore 70+ miles of salmon and steelhead habitat. At 210 feet tall, Glines Canyon Dam will be the tallest dam ever removed.

And it gets better: next month, crews will blast the 125-foot tall Condit dam on the White Salmon River, setting the river free in a matter of hours.

While we may have to wait a few years to see salmon return and the rivers return to the wild rivers they were 100 years ago, this marks a huge change in momentum. Dams are being removed all over the country, with these three being the most significant of all. From all of us here at Osprey, thank you to American Rivers, American Whitewater and everyone who had a hand in these victories. It’s time to celebrate!

To get just a taste of the Elwha and why this restoration is so important, check out this beautiful short film by Andy Maser.

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