Field Notes: a Northwest nature blog
One of the reasons many of us live in the Pacific Northwest is the natural wonders that amaze us all. On this blog Seattle Times writers and photographers will share their explorations of the natural world from snowcaps to whitecaps. Write us at email@example.com with your own sightings, questions and wonders to share.
See it for yourself: Dam removal under way on Elwha River
Posted by Lynda V. Mapes
The historic removal of Elwha Dam is easily watched even by viewers in wheelchairs, on a new overlook trail opened by the Clallam County. And if you don't even want to get your shoes dirty, you can watch online, from six webcams.
Here's a screen grab from a web cam view of Elwha Dam as of Tuesday afternoon. Webcams were put up primarily to help managers monitor the movement of sediment trapped by the dams as dam removal proceeds. But the cameras also provide a great bird's eye view of the ongoing work.
Removal work started Sept. 19, and also can be watched from a short overlook trail from the Elwha Dam RV Park parking lot, to a viewing location above the dam. The first section of the trail is wheelchair accessible and leads to a partial overlook of the dam site. A footpath built by a Washington Conservation Corps crew continues to an overlook of the dam and lower Lake Aldwell. The trail was completed and opened last Friday.
The trail and overlook are reached from a gate just south of the Elwha RV Park on Lower Dam Road, off state Highway 112.
There is no public viewing of Glines Canyon Dam removal other than by webcam. Six cameras provide views of the work at both dam sites.
Pedestrians, bicyclists and stock users may walk the Whiskey Bend Road, which bypasses the Glines Canyon Dam site. But there's no park service or contractor sanctioned public access west, or downhill, of the Whiskey Bend Road over looking the dam.
The Olympic National Park is working to provide public viewing opportunities of Glines Canyon Dam removal by summer of 2012.
Two dams are being taken down on the Elwha to restore the river's legendary salmon runs, and the more than 300-square-mile Elwha watershed. The $325 million demolition is the largest dam removal project in history, and is expected to take up to three years.
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