Watch the final video in our Year of the River series
We released a short film today with our partners at American Whitewater and the Hydropower Reform Coalition that tells the story of historic dam removal successes on Washington's Elwha and White Salmon rivers. The seven-minute film premiered at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in January and is the final installment in the “Year of the River” series by filmmaker Andy Maser.
“As a paddler and adventure filmmaker, having the chance to witness and document these dam removals has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” said Maser. “My hope is that these films will continue to build momentum for more dam removals and support the efforts of people on the ground working hard to restore free-flowing rivers.” Maser is also working on a long-term timelapse project documenting the removal of Condit Dam and the restoration of the White Salmon River and surrounding ecosystem.
The Elwha and White Salmon rivers are already beginning to restore themselves. Once the dams are completely removed, salmon and steelhead will have access to upstream habitat for the first time in 100 years. The Klallam people on the Elwha and the Yakama on the White Salmon will have vital parts of their culture and heritage restored. The free-flowing rivers will also create new fishing, paddling, and other recreation opportunities.
“I was so determined that the river run free and that the fish would return. I couldn't stop. I always believed that Condit Dam would come down someday. What I didn't think would happen, is that it would be in my lifetime,” said Phyllis Clausen of Friends of the White Salmon in the video.
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