Slowly but surely, the faces and stories of this dam removal movement are starting to reveal themselves. Dennis Brower has tended to the Condit Dam on Washington’s White Salmon River for thirty years. His house, a stone’s throw away from the powerhouse is where he raised his children. When asked what this day will mean to him, [the day he powers down the generators, forever] he paused for a while and looked up into the old trees that surround the company house he pays $20 a month for. “It’s really sad” said Brower.
The destruction of PacifiCorp’s aging and somewhat inefficient Condit Dam will hopefully revitalize miles of cold water spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead, and open up a stunning stretch of water for river nerds to float. The original design actually had fish ladders which were twice destroyed by floods shortly after the dam’s completion. The cost to build a new fish passage was considerably more than the cost of removing the dam.
The 98 year old Condit is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as an engineering and architecture landmark—it will be decommissioned and systematically taken down this fall.
Interesting sh*t: The Condit powerhouse supposedly [on average] generates a comparable amount of power to 5-10 big-ass windmills. [bk]