Restoring the White Salmon River Film Released (WA)

posted October 11, 2011
by Thomas O'Keefe

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A new video released today is building excitement for the restoration of a free-flowing White Salmon River. The video by filmmaker Andy Maser features local voices sharing their perspectives on the upcoming removal of Condit Dam. 

On October 26 a hole will be blasted in the base of the dam, and Northwestern Reservoir will drain in a matter of hours. The explosion will mark the beginning of a regionally and nationally significant river restoration effort.

In the video, Heather Herbeck, a Wet Planet whitewater guide and kayak instructor, and Phyllis Clausen, who lived on the river for 30 years, volunteered with Friends of the White Salmon, and led river conservation efforts, share their unique and inspiring stories of what the river means to them.  The video features the song “Equestrian” by U.S. Royalty.

The conservation community and the Yakama Indian Nation have worked for more than 20 years to remove the 95-year old, 125-foot Condit Dam.

Dam removal will restore access to 33 miles of habitat for steelhead and 14 miles of habitat for chinook salmon in the White Salmon River, which flows from the slopes of southwest Washington’s Mt. Adams to the Columbia River. The White Salmon is recognized as a premier whitewater destination—ten outfitters run commercial trips on the river, and at least 40,000 boaters use the river each year. Dam removal will create additional recreation opportunities.

This is the second video in the Year of the River series.  The first video, released in September, explores the dam removal and river restoration effort on Washington’s Elwha River.

The video series is spearheaded by American Rivers and American Whitewater, with support from the Hydropower Reform Coalition.

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About Andy Maser:  Andy Maser is an experienced cameraman, producer and film editor. He calls Portland, Oregon home, but regularly shoots in locations around the world.  A National Geographic Young Explorer grantee, Andy Maser is equally at home filming wildlife deep in the jungle as he is documenting stories of science, conservation and adventure. 
Visit his Condit Dam removal timelapse project at http://whitesalmontimelapse.wordpress.com/

About American Rivers: American Rivers is the nation’s leading voice fighting for clean water and healthy rivers. For almost 40 years we have protected and restored rivers, scoring victories for communities, fish and wildlife, and future generations.  American Rivers has offices in Washington, DC and nationwide, and more than 100,000 supporters and volunteers. Visit www.americanrivers.org and learn about dam removal and river restoration at www.americanrivers.org/yearoftheriver

About American Whitewater: American Whitewater is the primary advocate for the preservation and restoration of whitewater resources throughout the U.S., successfully connecting the interests of human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data. With over 5,000 members and 100 affiliate clubs, we represent the conservation interests of tens of thousands of whitewater enthusiasts nationwide. Along with our partners, we have been a key player in the effort to remove Condit Dam and restore the White Salmon. Visit www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Project/view/id/6/ for more information. Stock photos are also available upon request. 

About the Hydropower Reform Coalition:  The Coalition is made up of more than 150 outdoor conservation and recreation organizations nationwide that advocate for river protection and restoration by improving the environmental performance of individual hydropower dams regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012


Associated Projects

  • White Salmon Restoration (WA)
    American Whitewater has been engaged in a long-term effort to protect and restore one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular year-around whitewater rivers.

Associated Rivers

White Salmon [WA]
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