Magazine
The Columbia River: An Age of Reform

October 13, 1986

Part 2 of the award-winning four-issue series Western Water Made Simple.

Feature

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The stuff of moral tales
Will just enough be done -- by increasing the number of fish hatcheries, by limiting logging, and by rationing the fishtake -- to keep the salmon runs marginally alive? Or will more far-reaching steps be taken to bring back the spirit, as well as the fish, of the good old days?
A great loneliness of the spirit
The authors follow a young salmon, or smolt, from its spawning place in the high country downstream, past innumerable physical and bureaucratic barriers, to the ocean.
The dammed Columbia
The author describes the natural history of the region, and then tells how the river has been reworked to provide kilowatts, acre-feet, a route for barges into Idaho and other goods of the modern age.
Salmon: Continuity for a culture
Although history has driven a wedge between the people of Washington's Warm Springs Reservation and their ancestral home, the Columbia River still flows through their lives in significant ways.
The chainsaw massacre
High mountain-streams don't have dams, but they do have loggers, and the mud spawned by roading and logging in Idaho can be as deadly to salmon reproduction as the highest concrete dam.
Showing the West the way
The Northwest Power Planning Council balances the giant, pro-kilowatt Bonneville Power Administration, and may serve as a model for the West in its search for a regional way to deal with resource questions now dominated by the federal government.