A federal administrative law judge has ruled that the recreational and cultural uses of the North Fork of the Clearwater River are a former dam site more valuable than the gold placer miners might have dredged from the bottom. What irony. And what a relief. The great dams that block flows on the Northwest’s largest rivers are lamented by many who regret the damage done to wild fish runs, and the loss of land and communities submerged beneath reservoirs. Other watersheds, such as the Coeur d’Alene River basin, were despoiled by mining. But thanks to an obscure law that surrendered the rights to future federal hydroelectric dam development, those basins where the water still flowed freely were granted special protections/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Are you thankful for federal laws that protect public lands?