Seattle Times: Elwha dams floodgates opened, lakes lowered

The Seattle Times posted an interesting report about the recent lowering of the lakes behind the two fish-blocking dams on the Elwha River. After the shutdown of the dam powerhouses on June 1, the floodgates were opened for water to spill through and starting to flow like a river again. Deconstruction of the dams will start September 17.

From the story, Rachael Hagaman, who reinstituted the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s first salmon ceremony in 1990 and her thoughts on the river restoration:

“It’s awesome, it’s good news,” she said Tuesday, of the river starting to find its channel again. “Our ancestors cried a lot when the dams went in. Their voice was not heard, it was not allowed to be heard. The elders said every river had its people, the river deltas, the watersheds, that is what sustained them.”

Restoration is about more than the river, she noted, it also heals people. “It’s a big picture thing,” she noted.