First Advisor

Alida Cantor

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication

6-6-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography

Department

Geography

Language

English

DOI

10.15760/etd.7881

Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 100 pages)

Abstract

Dams, once considered by many to be good for water development in the Western U.S., might not be a part of a climate resilient future. Dams have come under increasing scrutiny due to undesirable ecological implications. Although dam removal proposals are growingly popular in recent decades, they are controversial since they impact different stakeholders in different ways. In the Pacific Northwest, the Lower four Snake River dams have long been criticized for their negative impacts on salmon. In February 2021, US Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) proposed a comprehensive framework to deconstruct the Lower four Snake River dams as an attempt to redesign Idaho’s energy landscape, change transportation pathways, and address the seemingly endless salmon wars. Through a political ecology lens, I examine the factors that serve as drivers to alliance building or points of detachment from alliance building amongst stakeholders, including how each sector views legal methodologies, values nature, embraces their social responsibility, and envisions the region’s future under increasing climate change. I analyze 22 semi-structured interviews with a broad range of social actors such as advocacy groups, power administrators, farmers, and Indigenous leaders, and examine dominant discourses in 50 media documents from the rollout of Representative Simpson’s Columbia Basin Initiative to the delivery of President Biden’s Infrastructure Package in August 2021. As dam removal proposals arise globally, this critical examination of place-based water conflict illuminates how dam destruction may bring actors together in unanticipated and unprecedented ways.

Rights

In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/ This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/37978

Available for download on Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Included in

Geography Commons

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