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Montana: The Magazine of Western History

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Dams -- Columbia River Watershed -- History -- 20th century, Columbia River, Environmental degradation -- Columbia River Region


Discusses the history of the Columbia River during the 20th century, emphasizing the image of the river as both a source of industry and an example of wild natural beauty. In 1933 the river was dammed to harness its power for hydroelectricity and control its unpredictable flooding. With the completion of the dams in the 1970's, however, came problems with the edenic vision of the river, especially with the annual salmon run. By the late 20th century, the salmon had all but disappeared, leading to an ongoing conflict between supporters of the dams and conservationists.


This is the publisher's final PDF. Article appears in Montana: The Magazine of Western History 2000 Montana Historical Society

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