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Moving forward with Elwha dam removal

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on April 8, 2010 at 9:28 am |
April 8, 2010 9:28 am

Olympic National Park has taken the next big step in the effort to remove two dams on the Elwha River. The park has issued a call for proposals for removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams.

“Just last week, we celebrated completion of the Port Angeles Water Treatment Plant and the Elwha Water Facilities, both major milestones in Elwha restoration,” Superintendent Karen Gustin said in a prepared statement. “With (the) bid request for dam removal, we have reached yet another landmark on the way to freeing the Elwha River and restoring hundreds of thousands of fish to its waters.”

The park is planning to hold a meeting with contractors interested in learning more about the project during the week of April 22.

The contracted work will involve the nation’s largest dam removal to date – the removal of the 108-foot high Elwha Dam and the 210-foot’ high Glines Canyon Dam. The estimated cost range for removal of both dams is $40 to $60 million.

Removing the dams will allow all five species of Pacific salmon, plus steelhead and sea-run cutthroat and bull trout to once again have access to over 70 miles of river and stream. As the fish return after their 100-year absence, they will bring vital nutrients to the 240,000-acre watershed, restoring the entire ecosystem, from insects to black bears to eagles, said a news release.

The returning salmon and restored river will also renew the culture of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, who have lived along the Elwha River and are a primary partner in the restoration effort.

Click here for more information about the solicitation. Enter the Solicitation Number N2011101068. A pre-solicitation notice for this project was released on March 15.

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