National Park Service


Date of this Version



Published in Weber, Samantha, and David Harmon, eds. 2008. Rethinking Protected Areas in a Changing World: Proceedings of the 2007 GWS Biennial Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. Hancock, Michigan: The George Wright Society.


This paper centers on the development of a research consortium to study ecological effects of dam removal. Long-time public interest has centered on the National Park Service’s plan to remove two hydropower dams from the Elwha River in Olympic National Park. The Elwha is not only the largest dam removal ever attempted but is also unique in that land above the dams is within Olympic National Park, removing the confounding anthropogenic factors in other dam removals nationwide. I will provide a general update on the project to set the scene for the science part, which is actually the story I want to tell.