According to Indian Country, Wednesday was "a happy day for tribal members, the salmon, and for the White Salmon River itself." The paper pointed out that fourteen years had passed since PacifiCorp, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) co-sponsored the studies that showed dam removal could be cost-effective.
Efforts by those groups and environmental organizations helped lead to the final moment.
According to news reports, Portland-based PacifiCorp had decided that it was cheaper to source the dam's 14 megawatts elsewhere, rather than install expensive fish ladders and other improvements on the site, as would have been required for relicensing. According to the AP, the dam removal cost around $32 million, while the improvements would have cost $100 million.
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