Lee First

The Chehalis River at a Crossroads: Plans for a New Dam Threaten the Headwaters

The era of dam building is over. In the past 30 years, 1275 dams have been torn down, according to the nonprofit American Rivers.  The United States has been experiencing an ecological revival, illustrated in Washington by the hugely successful dam removal on the Elwha River. Yet flooding, exacerbated by climate change-fueled storms, aggressive logging in the headwaters of the …

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Paddling with Ghosts: A Long Strange Journey Down the Spokane River

Rivers teach us, and I wanted the Spokane River to teach me. When I began working for the Spokane Riverkeeper, newly arrived in eastern Washington, I knew I had to see the whole river for myself. My Riverkeeper colleagues had long lived along its banks and they do an impressive job of protecting their river, but they hadn’t paddled the …

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