Elwha Research Efforts
Research consists of a core program of monitoring activities and a set of prioritized research projects, supplemented by other research projects that are complementary to the program aims. This includes research on the following:
-Historical data (before the dams):
-Baseline characterization (current conditions):
-Monitoring for restoration:
-Monitoring for ecosystem recovery: Vegetation, wildlife, nutrient flows
-Research on ecosystem recovery processes:
An Interpretive History
During 2009-2010, historians from Historical Research Associates, Inc. worked closely with Olympic National Park cultural resource staff to produce an interpretive history of the Elwha River Valley and the Elwha dams. This historic study tells the story of the two dams that spanned the Elwha River for more than 80 years, and of the many changes the dams brought to people and communities around the Olympic Peninsula, including the city of Port Angeles, whose rapid economic growth was facilitated by Elwha hydropower; and the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, whose members' livelihood and lifeways have come from the Elwha River since time immemorial. The interpretive history also recounts the long social and political struggle to remove the dams and restore the environmental integrity of the Elwha River and the river's historic salmon runs.
The document serves as part of the mitigation that allowed the removal of the two historic dams, and provides background information and topical themes for future NPS interpretive programs in the Elwha Valley.
Most of the historic photographs that illustrate this volume were obtained from the Olympic National Park Archives, [with many images acquired from James River], the Bert Kellogg Collection of the North Olympic Library System, and the historic photo collection at the Clallam County Historical Society.
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