Elwha River Ecosystem Restoration

Purpose and Need: The Elwha River  https://168pg.net/ environment and native anadromous fisheries are
significantly degraded because of two hydroelectric dams (initiatives) and their reservoirs
constructed within the early 1900s. Congress has mandated the overall recovery of this atmosphere and
its native anadromous fisheries via the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries
Restoration Act (Public Law 102-495). The Department of the Interior therefore reveals
there is a want to go back this river and the atmosphere to its herbal, self-regulating kingdom,
and proposes removing each dams to perform this reason and satisfy the
congressional mandate.
Proposed Action: The U.S. Department of the Interior proposes to absolutely repair the
Elwha River ecosystem and local anadromous fisheries through the decommissioning of
Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam and removal of all structures necessary, together with
all or a part of each dams, powerhouses, reservoirs, and related facilities to obtain this
motive. The proposed action is positioned in Clallam County, on the Olympic Peninsula, in
Washington State.
Lead business enterprise: National Park Service
Cooperating corporations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation,
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Lower Elwha
S’Klallam Tribe
Type of announcement: This is a very last environmental impact statement. In making ready this, the
Department of the Interior has adopted most of the people of a draft environmental impact
declaration titled “Proposed Elwha (FERC No.2683) and Glines Canyon (FERC No.588)
Hydroelectric Projects, Washington” as updated and renamed Draft Staff Report in
March 1993 organized via the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Also integrated
into the record of this environmental impact announcement is the Elwha Report and its
appendixes, organized through the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Commerce and the
Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe (Jan. 1994). This environmental impact announcement
supersedes both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission environmental effect
announcement and the Elwha Report.
Abstract: In addition to the proposed action, four different options are examined. They
are: Dam Retention with mitigation measures mounted for fish passage, Removing Glines
Canyon Dam handiest and installing fish passage measures at Elwha Dam, Removing Elwha
Dam only and installing fish passage measures at Glines Canyon Dam, and No Action
(dams are retained with out fish passage measures). The proposed motion is also the
Department of the Interior’s “favored alternative.” Short time period bad influences from
getting rid of both dams ought to arise from sediment built up behind them. If sediment is
allowed to erode clearly, the finer grained particles, consisting of silt and clay, may want to
briefly but extensively impact fish or different aquatic organisms. Impacts on water
first-class, river morphology, local anadromous and resident (i.E., trout and char) fisheries,
living marine resources, natural world, threatened and endangered species, vegetation, cultural
sources, land use, endeavor, esthetics, socioeconomics and river ecology are also
tested in this environmental impact statement. Alternatives apart from the proposed
motion may additionally have huge influences on every of these resources.
Difference among the Final and Draft Environmental Impact Statement:
Comments were taken both orally and in writing for a duration of 60 days at the draft
environmental effect statement launched in October 1994. The remark period ended
December 23, 1994. Substantive feedback have been responded to each in a query and
answer layout and/or with the aid of making changes, additions or corrections in the text of the draft
environmental impact declaration. The modified draft is that this report, Interior’s very last
environmental impact statement.
Pg. 2 = pg. Zero&i
Summary
In the early 1900s, the loose-flowing Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula in
Washington State was blocked with two hydroelectric dams (See Figure 1). The Elwha
Dam turned into built four.9 miles from the mouth of the Elwha River starting in September
1910. It impounded the reservoir called Lake Aldwell. Construction on Glines
Canyon Dam, eight.5 miles farther upstream, started out in 1926, creating the reservoir called
Lake Mills. Although the dams helped in the early improvement of the peninsula, the
presence and operation of the hydropower initiatives cause severe problems for
anadromous fish, the atmosphere, and the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe.
The dams block the migration direction for several species of salmon and trout, which, after
maturing inside the ocean, return to the Elwha to lay their eggs (spawn). Migrating fish such
as those are anadromous. The dams additionally prevent or limit the downstream go with the flow of
vitamins, sediment, and woody particles the fish need to correctly spawn and rear
juveniles, inundate fish habitat and bring about multiplied temperatures downstream. The
Elwha River became utilized by 10 runs of salmon and trout before the dams had been built. The
fish fed more than 22 species of natural world and had been the premise of plenty of the tradition and
economic system of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe.
Because of the dams, the glide regime of the river changed from active meandering in
many places to much less energetic and extra channelized. Reduced sediment supply from the river
has brought on the japanese edge of the pre-dam Elwha delta to erode, and the barrier seashore at
Freshwater Bay to recede and steepen. It has also contributed to the erosion of Ediz
Hook, the sand spit that protects Port Angeles Harbor.
In popularity of these problems, the Department of the Interior unearths, consistent with
congressional purpose expressed in the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration
Act (P.L. 102-495; see Appendix), a need to fully repair the native anadromous fisheries
and Elwha River atmosphere. For the functions of Elwha River restoration, “full
healing” is interpreted by way of the Department of the Interior to mean reestablishment of
herbal bodily and organic environment tactics, which include healing of the terrestrial
and riverine habitat presently inundated with the aid of the reservoirs. Since the natural world habitat and
river upstream of the dams are in nearly pristine situation, doing away with the dams and fully
restoring the ten runs of salmon and trout could fully restore the Elwha River environment.
It would also return the cultural and economic cognizance of the Lower Elwha S’Klallam
Tribe, uphold the federal trust duty to affected Indian tribes, and offer
massive long time advantages to game fishing, tourism, and the nearby economies
related to these sports.
The National Park Service has the lead in preparing this final environmental impact
assertion, which is a programmatic or coverage environmental effect assertion. The
majority of the March 1993 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Draft Staff Report
become adopted as part of this document. The Elwha Report and its appendixes, prepared via
the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Commerce and the Lower Elwha S’Klallam
Tribe (Jan. 1994), have been also included. Material on this document supersedes each that
within the Draft Staff Report and inside the Elwha Report.
Pg. Three = pg.Ii&iv
If the selection maker, the secretary of the indoors; chooses the Proposed Action of
removing each dams, the National Park Service will put together a 2nd environmental
effect statement, the “Implementation EIS,” that would study options for
implementing the choice.
Several options for restoring fish habitat are examined on this programmatic effect
assertion. Only one alternative has the capability to completely restore Elwha local
anadromous fisheries—the Proposed Action of casting off each the Elwha and Glines
Canyon dams. Chances for restoring 9 of the ten runs of fish are rated as both “precise”
or “incredible” if each dams are eliminated (sockeye salmon be afflicted by capacity inventory
drawback and habitat troubles outside the confines of the Elwha River project and,
consequently, have only “poor” to “truthful” chances of returning in pre-dam numbers).
Removing both dams could additionally restore herbal go with the flow conditions in the Elwha River.
Figure 1. Location Map (Scan)
Because federal groups examine a full range of reasonable alternatives in an
environmental impact statement, the National Park Service also analyzed leaving the
dams in place and installing fish passage centers, as well as putting off every dam
separately. These options are Dam Retention (with passage centers established at
both dams), Removal of Elwha Dam, and Removal of Glines Canyon Dam. No
Action, or leaving the dams in vicinity without mitigation measures (as they may be now), turned into
also analyzed to offer a foundation for evaluating all motion alternatives.
The probabilities of restoring local anadromous fish drop considerably under each of those
alternatives. None of the ten runs has an awesome or wonderful threat of full recovery if fish
passage measures are set up (i.E., the Dam Retention alternative) or if Elwha Dam
alone is eliminated. Although there is a great chance that each iciness and summer runs of
steelhead could be restored if Glines Canyon Dam had been removed, the last eight
runs do not fare as nicely. For all alternatives besides Proposed Action, mortality
related to fish passage and negative habitat is possibly to drive the Elwha pink salmon
stock to extinction (if it isn’t already) an

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