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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start shutting down all eight locks on the Columbia and Snake rivers in December for repair work, with the last scheduled to reopen in mid-March. The closures will be the longest since the last of the dams between the ocean and Lewiston was completed in 1972, corps spokesman Scott Clemans said.
What qualities does a good waterfall have? An evaluation team strolled around Riverfront Park on Wednesday morning, listening to the sound of the Spokane River and rating its appearance as it cascaded over basalt bedrock.
The river analogies are obvious as Marc explains his morning in the Grand Tetons on Jackson Lake, juxtaposing his personal and professional journey to and from the Gulf Coast; what he’s learned about his own mettle, the battle lines created by corporations and consumers against nature, and what it means to be human in the 21st century.
Conservation and fishermen’s groups are suing the Washington State Department of Ecology to allow more water over dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers to protect salmon and steelhead.
MISSOULA – The federal government has hauled away 2.2 million cubic yards of toxic sediment and removed a reservoir as part of a Superfund site cleanup in southwestern Montana’s fishing country, only to encounter a hitch — the changes may impede a threatened species of trout. The 100-year-old Milltown Dam was part of a large area of southwestern Montana that has been designated the nation’s largest Superfund cleanup site, holding back a century’s worth of toxic waste that flowed from the mines and smelters in Butte and Anaconda.
Avista Corp. wants to certify its two Clark Fork River dams as “low-impact” hydro projects, a designation that would allow the utility to sell renewable energy credits from the dams. About half of Avista’s electricity comes from the Cabinet Gorge and Noxon Rapids dams, which generate up to 803 megawatts of power. To certify the dams as low-impact, the utility has to demonstrate that they meet criteria in eight areas, including water quality, river flows and fish passage.
BASS drops women’s contests OUTCAST – The Women’s Bassmaster Tour for professional tournament fishing has been dropped for 2010, the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society announced last week.
A federal judge in Portland says he wants an end soon to 15 years of litigation over imperiled salmon and dams in the Columbia River system.
WASHINGTON – In a case closely followed by environmental and business interests, a rewritten plan for restoring endangered and threatened wild salmon runs on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington state and Idaho includes studying the possibility of breaching four major hydroelectric dams if other steps don’t reverse the decline. The revised Northwest plan, known as a biological opinion, was submitted Tuesday by the Obama administration to U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland, who had been critical of a previous plan submitted by the Bush administration that rejected even a study of breaching the four dams on the lower Snake River.
The Obama administration says it will be more aggressive in protecting declining Pacific Northwest salmon runs and will study breaching some dams as a last resort in a long-awaited management plan.
Even ‘play dams’ are bad for fish OUTLAW – Rock dams built by kids and campers to create swimming areas in streams can be a death trap to migrating fish.
The first two sockeye salmon of the season completed the marathon journey from the Pacific Ocean, up the Columbia and Snake rivers to Little Redfish Lake in Idaho’s Stanley Basin on July 23. More to come. The journey covers than 900 miles and 6,500 vertical feet to the high mountain valley where they were born.
PORTLAND — A federal judge Monday gave the Obama administration another month before saying where it stands on the Bush administration’s strategy for balancing endangered salmon against federal hydroelectric power production in the Columbia Basin.
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott has called for a scientific analysis of the federal government’s Northwest salmon recovery effort, saying that most wild stocks remain at dangerously low levels despite the $8 billion spent on their recovery. In his proposed “Salmon Solutions and Planning Act,” McDermott would also give the Army Corps of Engineers the authority to breach the four Lower Snake River dams.
About 1,500 employees of the hydropower industry will gather in Spokane next week for a conference discussing new technology and the impact of climate change on dams. The Waterpower XVI conference is hosted by PennWell Corp., an Oklahoma firm that publishes “Hydro Review” and other industry magazines and newsletters. The conference takes place Monday through Thursday at the Spokane Convention Center.