Conservation group seeks Elwha River dam-removal support

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK – A six-mile stretch between the two dams on the Elwha River may be beautiful now, but it will be even more so once the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams are removed, say officials.

“There will be more fish, more birds, more insects, more bears, more of everything,”. said Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes.

“Twenty-six species of birds and animals depend upon the salmon in the river,” she said during an Elwha River rafting trip on Thursday that was sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association.

Removal of the two Elwha River dams is slated to begin in about 2012.

The National Park Service is not being more specific on that date until the contracts are awarded for the project’s two water treatment plants in the fall.

So the trip was intended to maintain public awareness and support for the project – and tell what the river could be like once the estimated $185 million project is completed.

“We want to make sure people still are excited about the project,” said David Graves of the National Parks Conservation Association.

“We want to keep the momentum going.”

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