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Washington Post   12/14/2023

Nature, Undammed

The largest-ever dam removal is underway, a milestone in the nation’s reckoning over its past attempts to bend nature to human will.

It was a small moment, with little fanfare, in one of the most remote patches of northern California. Just the rat-a-tat of three Caterpillar excavators gnawing through concrete signaled the beginning of the largest dam removal project in the history of the country, and perhaps the world.

There was no ribbon cutting or ceremonial dynamite detonation. But the demolition on that June day arrived only after decades of argument and activism.

The Ellsworth American   12/12/2023

Dam owners appeal denial of water quality certificate in Supreme Court

The state’s top legal gaze will fall on the Union River dams after Brookfield Renewable on Dec. 6 filed a notice of appeal in Maine Supreme Court. Brookfield owns and operates Black Bear Hydro Project’s two dams on the river but in March 2020 was denied a water quality certificate by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Brookfield needs a state-issued water quality certificate before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves renewing its license to operate the dams.

“Our organization remains very disappointed by Brookfield’s refusal to comply with Maine’s water quality standards,” DSF Executive Director Dwayne Shaw said. “Their delay tactics and appeals run counter to their self-described sustainability standards. DSF stands ready to enter the Supreme Court proceedings as an Intervenor to assure Brookfield is held accountable for the horrendous water quality and ongoing fish kills for which they are solely responsible.”

Outdoor Life   11/28/2023

Breach or Die: It’s Time to Free the Lower Snake River and Save Idaho’s Wild Salmon

On a hillside above the Salmon River, Kyle Smith, his setter, and I stood there and panted. Still catching our breath from the climb, we looked down to see a fish break the water’s surface. The big Chinook rolled in a deep pool, a fine place to rest during her long trip home from the Pacific. Swimming more than 500 miles up the Columbia and Snake Rivers before taking a left up the Salmon, this fish dodged predators, avoided gillnets, and fought through walls of concrete to carry the next generation upstream.

Oregon Capital Chronicle   11/16/2023

Many residents say publicly they support maintaining hydropower at Willamette River dams

The trade-offs between hydropower dams and endangered salmon in the Willamette Valley have been on full display in public feedback in a series of meetings hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The public meetings took place as an operational change at two dams meant to help fish is deluging rivers with mud.

Willamette Valley residents and conservationists weighed in on the future of eight hydropower dams operated by the corps and the future of endangered salmon in three public comment sessions on Monday and Tuesday. The meetings coincide with preparation of a corps’ report to Congress on whether hydropower production should be removed at some or all eight of the power-producing dams in its Willamette Valley project.

E&E News   11/6/2023

Billions of seeds replace dams on restored Klamath River

Plans to revegetate 2,200 acres along the reconfigured river include planting more than 100 native species from hand-harvested seeds.

In the shadow of the nation’s largest dam removal effort — the dismantling of four dams on the Lower Klamath River — ecologists are focused on an intensive rebuilding project that will spring from 20 billion seeds.

Restoration crews are preparing to begin planting new vegetation on 2,200 acres of soon-to-be-exposed reservoir beds and along up to 60 miles of the reconfigured waterway. Starting next year, they will begin to sow billions of native seeds across Oregon and California, recreating the landscape that once bordered the river.