You are here: home   Issues   Which Way West   Risky dam business

Risky dam business

Document Actions
I was pleased to see an article highlighting some of the great river restoration successes on Fossil Creek (HCN, 10/01/07). It is unfortunate, however, that the article also seems intent on creating a dam-removal controversy where one does not exist. River restoration practitioners - and the conservation groups that we often work with - are under no illusions that dam removal is a "panacea," and we are well aware that the business of river restoration is, like nature itself, full of complexity and uncertainty.

Dam removal is like major surgery: There are always risks and potential complications associated with the procedure, but there are ways of minimizing those risks, and we press forward when we are confident that surgery will improve the patient's overall health. So far, the track record for dam removal is excellent, and our ability to avoid potential risks improves with experience. Dealing with uncertainty, complexity, and even risk isn't a "downside." It's a necessary part of doing the job right. This is why river restoration practitioners and conservation groups alike are vocal advocates for more scientific research at dam removal sites.

Jim MacBroom, P.E.
Vice President,
Milone and MacBroom, Inc.
Cheshire, Connecticut

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Why I am a Tea Party member |
  3. The privatization of public campground management | All the info you need to decide whether you love o...
  4. The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands | The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
  5. Efficiency lessons from Germany |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste | Regulators look at raising the limit for radiation...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone