Celebrate Elwha Dam Removal Ceremony
By Bret Wirta-The Incidental Explorer
Saturday September 17th 2011
At the dam remvoal ceremony
The warm weather held for the Elwha Dam removal ceremony here on the Olympic Peninsula. This was the culmination of a week of festivities that marked the beginning of the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams, the largest dam removal and restoration project in our country. My wife Trisha and I felt fortunate to be invited. Dozens of dignitaries and a couple hundred invited guests were shuttled to the Elwha Dam site. The security was overwhelming. Federal Marshals and Department of Homeland Security officers in full body armor with bomb sniffing dogs combed the site. There were even agents climbing in trees on the ridge behind us. (We heard one fall during the ceremony with snapping branches and a thud!
There were many dignitaries present. Actor Tom Skerrit was the MC. He’s starred in the movies, “Alien”, “Top Gun”, and one of my all-time favorites, “A River Runs Through It.” The speakers included tribal leaders, National Park Service officials, senators, congressman, the governor and even President Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar.