New Scholarship on Dam Removal on Ottaway, Penobscot, and Elwha Rivers

Coleen A. Fox, Nicholas J. Reo, Brett Fessell, and Frank Dituri have published “Native American Tribes and Dam Removal: Restoring the Ottaway, Penobscot and Elwha Rivers.

From the article.

The abstract:

Since the early 1900s, more than 1700 dams have been removed from rivers in the United States. Native American Tribes have played a key role in many significant removals, bringing cultural, economic, and legal resources to bear on the process. Their involvement contrasts with the displacement and marginalisation that have historically characterised the relationship between Native Americans and the dams built by settler – colonial governments on their rivers. Our research investigates Tribal involvement in dam removals, with examples from the Ottaway, Penobscot, and Elwha rivers. We ask the following: what roles have Tribes played in successful removals? How do dam removals affect and reflect shifting relations between Tribal governments and non-Tribal actors? Our research finds that Tribal involvement provides opportunities for inserting underacknowledged values and resource claims into dam removal efforts, and that it facilitates new collaborations and alliances. We also find evidence of Tribal involvement affecting the nature and practice of river restoration through dam removal. We conclude that the involvement of Tribes in dam removal contributes to important shifts in environmental politics in the US, and that it also creates opportunities for restorative environmental justice for Native Americans and their rivers.

HIGHLY recommended.

The Elwha River, deep in the Olympic National Forest of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, flattens out here but will narrow and add rapid as it heads toward Madison Falls.
From the article.
From the article.

News Profile of Klamath River Dam Removal Plan


More here:
Coverage focusing on the tribal impact:

Hoopa Press Release re: Klamath River Proposal

Media Contacts: Clifford Lyle Marshall (530) 625-4211 ext. 161
Mike Orcutt (530) 625-4267 ext. 13
Tom Schlosser (206) 386-5200



Hoopa, Calif. – The Hoopa Valley Tribe of northern California will not endorsethe latest draft of the Klamath River Basin Restoration Agreement (KRBRA) because the agreement lacks adequate water assurances for fish. Despite being in the minority among the negotiators, Tribal Chairman Clifford Lyle Marshall said Hoopa would never waive its fishery-based water rights, as demanded by federal and other negotiators, in a deal providing no assurances for fisheries restoration.

Continue reading

NYTs Article on Klamath Dam Removal

From the NYTs:

Deal on Dams on Klamath Advances

Published: January 16, 2008

Bitter opponents over the future of the Klamath River unveiled a formal agreement on Tuesday to pave the way for removal of four aging hydroelectric dams that re-engineered the watershed and sharply decreased fish stocks.

Continue reading