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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

April 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Field Notes: back at it, in time for spring

Since January I’ve been writing a book about the Elwha River restoration, to be published at about this time next year by The Seattle Times and the Mountaineers Books.

The books spring from our coverage in The Seattle Times and goes deeper, into the history of the building of the dams and industrialization of the Olympic Peninsula and the long battle to take out the dams. I also take a closer look at the science of the restoration, and the amazing ecosystem of the Elwha. And while I’m still fine tuning, I’m back at it here in the newsroom — and Field Notes is back, too.

This week I’ll start off with a look at the incredible sediment plume booming out of the Elwha River, featuring some amazing aerial photos by photographer Tom Roorda.

I also want to honor the passing of crusading environmental attorney Russell Busch, a longtime advocate for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and to get into what’s causing so many Madrona trees to succumb to disease.

Thanks for reading, and it’s good to be back.

And speaking of transitions: how’s this for Elwha Dam … what dam? Was there ever a dam there at all? You couldn’t tell it by this photo:

GOPR9152.JPG

All that’s left of Elwha Dam. Aerial photo by Tom Roorda, who took this photo Sunday afternoon. His company, Northwestern Territories, Inc. did all of the (de)construction surveying for the dam removal. Tom has been taking aerial photos of the dams for a long time from his 1968 American Champion Citabria. We’ll see more of his great work in Field Notes this week.

And here’s Glines Canyon Dam, looking distinctly less like a dam, as of Sunday afternoon:

Glines 3-19-12 (2).jpg

Glines Canyon Dam, photographed by Tom Roorda on Sunday afternoon from his airplane.

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