Columbia River Basin


The Hemlock Dam Removal Story –
Columbia Basin Restoration

The Hemlock Dam Removal Story – Columbia Basin Restoration by HydroPower Reform Coalition, 2010 (11:33).

Description by NWNL: Over 60% of the world’s rivers have been dammed or diverted, and the Columbia River Basin is the most heavily dammed river in the world. Dams block fish from their spawning grounds and nutrients from reaching downstream floodplains. In the Columbia watershed there used to be 10 to 16 million salmon spawning each year. Now 12 salmon species in the Columbia are considered endangered.

Fortunately, awareness has grown that dams, which have a productive life-span of only 50–100 years, degrade our watersheds in many ways. Hemlock Dam was removed from the Columbia River’s Trout Creek in summer 2010. Journalist Elizabeth Grossman recently noted, “For the first time in our nation’s history, the pace of dam removal has overtaken the pace of construction as communities across the country commit themselves to river restoration, including the removal of harmful dams.”

Removal of dams will end barriers like the Hemlock Dam from killing fish populations, creating contaminated sediment buildup, losing fresh clean water to evaporation, raising river temperatures, and changing the mix of gases in the water. NWNL supports those stewards promoting dam removal.

For more information on this project and its documentation, see this video’s YouTube page.