3 Dams to Be Removed in American West to Restore Rivers
A new $50 million fund will help communities remove “deadbeat dams,” starting in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Within a decade, the Yakama people of south-central Washington State should be able to harvest salmon once again with spears, nets, and other traditional methods along tributaries of the Yakima River.
“We want to return to serving as stewards of the land,” says Philip Rigdon, the deputy director of natural resources for the Yakama Nation.
To make that possible, the Nelson Dam needs to come down first. The eight-foot high irrigation diversion dam on the Naches River sits just upstream of the City of Yakima on the largest tributary of the Yakima River, which flows into the Columbia River. Built in the 1920s, the now unneeded dam blocks the movement of salmon through the area, choking off the ecosystem’s lifeline…