Impressive, but not as pretty as Hoover Dam
Stats: Taking over 8 years to construct, the dam was completed in 1942 and is about a mile long. It contains about 12 million cubic yards of concrete; it weighs about 24 million tons; and generates about 3 times the power that Hoover Dam does. Franklin D Roosevelt supported the dam and the upriver reservoir is named after him.
Common story; but always sad to me.
The visitor center at the dam focuses on what a huge engineering feat the dam represents (and it is impressive), the immense power it generates and the benefits of reducing the annual downstream flooding that used to occur.
There is a footnote regarding the complete barrier to returning salmon, and the social and ecological impacts to the region. No visitor to the dam should miss visiting the museum of the Confederated Tribes of Colville to hear, in really wrenching terms, the downside impacts of the dam.
The dam, and subsequent reservoir, flooded rich bottomland that had been home to over 21,000 native people who had lived in the region for many thousands of years. The dam brought an end to their lifestyle as salmon was a mainstay of their diet and an important element to their culture. Impacts were felt far into Canada as well – all the way to the headwaters of the Columbia. The dam projec was done, of course, with little analysis of the impacts or involvement of the people most affected.
When the reservoir flooded their homeland, native tribes held a ceremony - "The Ceremony of Tears."
Today, native populations are still fighting to improve the ecology of the river, stop pollution (at all the fishing areas I’ve seen, there are charts showing the heavy metal content of various species of fish and listing safe levels of consumption – not very much!) and restore some kind of ecological balance to the region.
And every year, they hold a ceremony by the river, praying for the return of the salmon.
I don't have a picture for this section because it's all underneath 400 feet of water.
Glad I'm not camping here!!
The site of an RV park right under a whole bunch of high power lines was just too much!! I spoke to Dennis, the manager, and he didn't seem to think it was that odd - but, to me, this would be worse than parking at Walmart.