Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PGE Hydroelectric Breaches Marmot Dam on the Sandy River in Oregon

In 1999, PGE announced it would close its Bull Run hydro project after nearly 100 years of operation. Upgrade costs and concern for fish led PGE to conclude it was time to return the area to the wild.

Removal of Marmot Dam is the first step in the plan's goal to help restore wild salmon and steelhead runs, improve habitat and boost recreational opportunities in the basin.

The plan was developed in 2002 by a diverse group made up of PGE and 22 environmental organizations, state and federal natural resource agencies, local governments and businesses.

The goal is to help restore wild salmon and steelhead runs, permanently protect the riparian habitat along the rivers impacted by the project...

Read More: http://www.marmotdam.com/


Posted by The Oregonian October 19, 2007

For the first time in a century, the Sandy River is flowing free after a temporary earthen dam built behind the Marmot Dam was breached early Friday evening.

The Marmot was removed in July, but the temporary dam continued to hold up the river. The dam removal -- the largest ever in Oregon -- is the result of PGE's decision about 10 years ago to decommission the hydroelectric project that includes Marmot, the Little Sandy Dam and man-made Roslyn Lake reservoir.

The move will promote better habitat for threatened wild fish. Although the project generated enough power for about 12,000 homes, rules to protect migratory fish were becoming more strict and meeting them would be costly, and analyses showed those costs exceeded the value of the project's power.

After the lake drains, sometime in 2008, it will be returned to its century-old natural contour, planted with native plants and maintained Next summer, PGE will remove the dam on the Little Sandy.

Here is the full article.