Copyright 1998 by Timothy R. Allbee

Proposal and Annotated Bibliography

Over damming in the Columbia River Basin has proven more disastrous than beneficial as we are faced with dwindling salmon populations, ecosystem imbalances, over-irrigation, etc. While it is obvious that planning policies allowed for this disaster to occur, the questions remains whether the damage already caused can be mitigated before many species of plants, fish, and other wildlife are lost forever.

Is it posible to achieve the delicate balance of protecting the dwindling salmon population by reducing the nnumber of dams on the Columbia River System? If dams are breached, would the Columbia be able to sustain the vast dependency on hydroelectric power that the Pacific Northwest region has come to depend on? Would the careful removal of dams along the Columbia be too devastating on human populations that have, over time, encroached along the once mighty pathway of this great river?

Although a broad topic, I believe that I can develop and produce a research paper that may explain whether the possibility exists of removing dams in order to protect other very vital areas of concern. I will cover the make up of specific dams along the Columbia River, reveal why they were placed in their respective locations in the first place, and speculate on what the ramifications, if any, would be if several of the dams were removed.


Beard, Daniel P. Dams Aren't Forever. New York Times, October 6, 1997, Pg. 19. This article argues in favor of restoring a natural canyon by draining the reservoir and destroying the Lake Powell Dam in southern Utah. This reaction is insightful in light of the current arguments about dam breaching in the Pacific Northwest.

Bullard, Oral. Crisis on the Columbia. Portland: Touchstone Press, 1968. Well written historical account in the aftermath of the building of the great dams on the Columbia River system. This book addresses the consequences of hasty dam construction on the environment and the ecological system the Columbia River supports.

Collins, Gerald B. The Snake River salmon and steelhead crisis: its relation to dams and the national energy crisis" Seattle. Written for the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Center. Northwest Fisheries Center, 1975. This report focuses on the devastating effects dam building has had on salmon, trout, and other native fishes to the Snake River system.

Devine, Robert S. The Trouble with Dams: Environmental Problems, High Cost of Operation. The Atlantic Monthly, August, 1995, v.276, n.2, p.64 (10 pages). This article reports on the 100,000 plus dams and flood control structures on America's rivers built mostly by the Army Corps of Engineers between 1925 and 1975. The article explains how the dams subsidize agribusiness, shipping, and hydropower interests at considerable cost, and the harm these structures have had on salmon populations.

Dill, Clarence C. Where the Water Falls. Spokane: C.W. Hill/Printers, 1970. This autobiographical account of Senator Dill's political career is enlightening and a powerful insight into the behind the scenes backdrop that determines what does and what doesn't happen on Capitol Hill. Dill can be given the lion's share of the credit for bringing the Columbia River Dam Project to fruition. His unquenching desire to make this project a reality takes him to assisting FDR gain the presidency to assure his dream as well as those of many Northwesterners would become reality.

Downs, L. Vaughn. The Mightiest of Them All: Memories of the Grand Coulee Dam. Ephrata, WA: YE Galleon Press, 1986. An in-depth historical look at the building of the Grand Coulee Dam. Stocked with many photos to help illustrate the people behind the making of this great dam. Many parts are quite technical for the liberal studies student and better serve the engineering community.

Durbin, Kathie. Apathy? Not around Here! (Ecosystem Management in the Columbia River Basin). National Wildlife, Dec-Jan, 1995, v.34, n1, p.36(10 pages). This well written article relates the common goal of the Federal Government and the citizens of the need to protect the ecologically sensitive Columbia River Basin. However, that is where the similarities end. This piece may surprise the reader's opinion of the federal government. One might also be disturbed about the path that many so-called environmentally conscious citizens have taken with regard to this process.

Holbrook, Sabra. Taming the Columbia River. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1967. This book looks into the circumstances that led to the 1964 Columbia River Treaty between Canada and the United States. It looks into the separate paths that each country took in attempting to tame and harness the power of the Columbia River. However, it was necessary for an alliance to be formed in order for both countries to reap the full benefit that each wanted to enjoy. Putting their differences aside, each nation was able to gain a great deal more by working together and pooling resources thereby ensuring an economic boon for all as well as preserving some of the environment so important both countries.

Jones, Fred Oscar. Grand Coulee From Hell to Breakfast: A Story of the Columbia River from Molten Lavas and Ice to the Grand Coulee Dam.

Lesser, Jonathan. Canadian-U.S. Power Production and the Columbia River Treaty: Implications for Northwest Electricity Supply and Energy Policy and Planning Research Series. Olympia: Washington State Energy Office, March, 1989. This article takes a look at the Columbia River Treaty which expires in 2003, and which will repatriate all excess hydroelectric energy currently being sold to the United States. The U.S. must make up this shortage, but how.

Lyman, William Denison. The Columbia River: It's history, Its myths, Its scenery, Its commerce.

McCully, Patrick. Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams.

Morgan, Murray Cromwell. The Dam. New York: The Viking Press, 1954. Historical overview of the Grand Coulee Dam including the planning, construction, and constant struggle to prove the private dam proponents wrong. A good share of the book revolves around the near disastrous internal flood of 1952 which threatened the very existence of the dam itself.

Outwater, Alice. Water: A Natural History. New York: Basic Books, 1996. Good overview of water, how it travels, where it travels, and how it works for man. Her chapter entitled 'Water Over the Dam' is lucid, matter of fact, and telling, especially with regard to anadromous fish.

Pacific Northwest River Basins Commission. The Columbia River Estuary Data Development Program "Plan Study". Vancouver: PRNBC, 1979. This study proposes to develop information to be utilized by resource managers and planners concerning the biological and physical processes of the Columbia River estuary. Up to this time, no single resource was available in which to gain information on the estuary.

Pitzer, Paul C. Grand Coulee: Harnessing a Dream. Pullman, WA: WSU Press, 1994. Historical account of FDR's SCE project that goes beyond policy and analyzes the myriad of people who made the Grand Coulee Dam Project what it has become today. His bountiful research enables the pedestrian the ability to grasp the enormity of this project as well as the consequences.

Satchell, Michael. The Last Water Fight: A Dam That Won't Die Shows Power of Pork. U.S. News & World Report, Oct 23, '95, v.119, n.16, p.50. An interesting report on the Animas-La Plata dam project in Colorado. Although passed by Congress as a necessary dam in 1968, this project has yet to be completed with an expenditure of $710 million at the time this article was published. Project has been known as "Jurassic Pork." A look into the political goings on between the federal government, private developers, and the Native Americans in the region with which the dam would serve, the Utes.

Seattle City Light & Seattle Water Department. Cedar Falls-Morse Lake project: State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Pre-Draft Consultation Document. Seattle: Seattle City Light and Seattle Water Department, 1981. Proposed rehabilitation of the existing timber crib dam and masonry dam in King County Washington with a new more efficient concrete dam further downstream. The old crib and masonry dams would be removed. This project can be viewed with an eye toward future dam breaching projects, at least from the standpoint of removing older, faltering dams in concert with restoring salmon runs and other sensitive ecosystems.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The Columbia River: A Comprehensive Report on the Development of the Water Resources of the Columbia River Basin for Irrigation, Power Production, and Other Beneficial Uses in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Washington. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948.

United States. Congress (Senate) - Committee on Agriculture and Forestry). Navigation and Flood Control on the Columbia River and its Tributaries. Washington. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1936.

Washington State Department of Ecology, Office of Water Programs. Columbia River Fact Sheets. Olympia: State Press, 1976. This self-explanatory documents gives statistical data for the Columbia River Basin System from wide ranging areas such as Snake River dams, Columbia River dams, projected fish counts, dams which affect anadromous fish, irrigated areas, etc. One should remember that while this information is useful, it should be used in comparative analysis studies with more recent information.

Worster, Donald. Rivers of the Empire. New York. Oxford University Press, 1985. This book delves into the American dream of taming the raging western rivers, and the federal government's hand in doing so during FDR's New Deal era. It deeply explores the issues and consequences of such an aggressive approach.


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