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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Detour starting for White Salmon River rafters

RIVER RUNNING — Boater passage under the Northwestern Lake bridge on the Washington's White Salmon River will be closed beginning Tuesday.

The White Salmon River, a popular whitewater rafting attraction, flows south from glaciers on Mount Adams, entering the Columbia River by the town of Hood River, Ore.  See map.

Condit Dam is 3.3 miles from the mouth and just inside the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

PacifiCorp is rebuilding the bridge as part of the removal of Condit Dam. During the work, a temporary take-out will be located at cabin 12 just upstream of the bridge on the Skamania County side. A boat barrier will direct boaters to the location.

The temporary site is not as easy as using the Northwestern Lake boat ramp. It will take multiple rafters to move the boat and the grade is uphill.

Info: PacifiCorp at (503) 331-4361.

Revival of rivers begins in 2011

RIVER RESTORATION — According to the conservation group American Rivers, 2011 will be the ‘year of the river’ because of the unprecedented number of major river restoration projects happening nationwide.

After more than a decade of ground work, two of the world’s biggest river restoration projects will begin next fall as two big dams are set to be breached on two rivers in the Pacific Northwest the Elwha River and the White Salmon River. These dams are the largest ever to be removed.

Other major dam removal efforts are proceeding on Maryland’s Patapsco River and Maine’s Penobscot River.

The projects will restore river health, revitalize native fish and wildlife, improve clean water, and deliver significant economic, social and cultural benefits, an American Rivers spokesman says.

FAST FACTS:

  • More than 600 dams have been removed in the United States over the last 50 years.
  • States with the most dams removed include Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.