Timeline of the Elwha 1992 to Present

October 1992: James River II, Inc. requests license transfer to James River Paper Company, Inc.

November 1992: Conservation Intervenors file motion for FERC to stay its licensing proceedings citing Public Law 102-495.

December 1992: Joint Motion by Olympic Park Associates, Friends of the Earth, Seattle Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Department of Commerce, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, FERC, and James River requests that Ninth Circuit issue a stay of jurisdiction.

February 1993: Ninth Circuit grants stay of jurisdiction.

September 1993: Draft of the "Elwha Report" is released for public review.

January 1994: Final "Elwha Report" recommends removal of both dams in order to meet the Elwha Act's goal of full restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem and native anadromous fisheries.

June 1995: Final Programmatic EIS released. The EIS concludes that both dams need to be removed in order to achieve full restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem and native anadromous fisheries.

February 1996: Record of Decision (ROD) signed in favor of dam removal.

November 1996: Final Implementation EIS is released; concluding that the accumulated sediments within the two reservoirs should be allowed to erode downstream naturally following dam removal and that plans for fish restoration, revegetation and other actions should be implemented.

January 1999: Representatives of the National Park Service, Fort James and Daishowa America (then-owner of Port Angeles paper mill) meet to discuss federal acquisition of the Elwha and Glines Canyon hydroelectric projects.

November 1999: National Park Service representatives meet with First meeting with City of Port Angeles, Dry Creek Water Association, Elwha Place Homeowners Association and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to discuss measures necessary to protect them from the "possible adverse impacts of dam removal" as stipulated in Section 4 of the Elwha Act.

Then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt speaks to reporters during a visit to Glines Canyon Dam.


February 2000: Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt attends signing ceremony at Glines Canyon Dam in recognition of the pending federal purchase of both projects. Secretary Babbitt and representatives of Fort James, Daishowa America, and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe sign a commemorative declaration acknowledging "the many entities and individuals" that are making Elwha restoration a reality. Federal acquisition of the projects was completed Feb. 29.

March 2000: Bureau of Reclamation commences federal operation of both hydroelectric projects.

February 2003: Mitigation facilities for the Elwha Place Homeowners Association completed. NPS and City of Port Angeles officials reach agreement on necessary mitigation in order to protect the City's municipal and industrial water supplies.

August 2004: NPS, Port Angeles, and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe officials sign Memorandum of Understanding that identifies industrial, municipal and fish hatchery water quality mitigation measures and responsibilities of all parties.

January 2005: Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is released to account for changes in Washington Department of Health water quality standards and the federal listing of Elwha River Chinook and bull trout.

April 2005: The Elwha Research Consortium is awarded $1 million in grants from the National Science Foundation. The consortium includes: Peninsula College, Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Olympic National Park, the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Fisheries Research Center, and Olympic Park Institute.

May 2007: The National Park Service holds "industry roundtable" meetings in Port Angeles and Seattle, Wash. to inform potential contractors and subcontractors about two upcoming water treatment projects.

August 2007: NPS awards $24.5 million contract to Watts Constructors LLC and John Korsmo Company (Watts/Korsmo A JV), based in Gig Harbor, Wash., for construction of the Port Angeles Water Treatment Plant (PAWTP.)

December 2007: NPS awards $69.6 million contract to Watts Constructors LLC and DelHur Industries, Inc. for construction of Elwha Water Facilities, which includes a new surface water diversion and intake, industrial water treatment plant and area flood protection.

Former Olympic NP Superintendent Bill Laitner speaks at the PAWTP groundbreaking ceremony.
From left: Lower Elwha Klallam tribal chair Frances Charles, former Olympic NP Superintendent Bill Laitner, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks and former Port Angeles mayor Karen Rogers.


January 2008: U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks joins tribe, city and NPS officials at a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the Port Angeles Water Treatment Plant.

May 2008: Washington's National Parks Fund pledges $55,000 for exhibits, brochures and ranger-led programs related to Elwha River Restoration. The National Park System makes a matching donation through its Centennial Challenge grant program.

October 2008: NPS and city officials reach agreement to transfer ownership of PAWTP from the NPS to the City of Port Angeles upon completion.

March 2009: NPS awards $358,000 contract for design and construction of a new greenhouse and plant propagation facility at Robin Hill Farm County Park. The new facility will include a greenhouse, tool shed, cold frames and nursery beds.

September 2009: Work begins on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) rearing channel at Morse Creek. The site will help preserve and restore Elwha River chinnook populations by providing safe haven for 200,000 yearling smolts. Through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Park Service awards a $16.4 million contract for construction of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe fish hatchery.

The Matt Albright Native Plant Center opened in October 2009, and is the center of revegetation efforts related to Elwha River Restoration.


October 2009: More than 100 people attend the grand opening of the Matt Albright Native Plant Center, named in honor of Olympic National Park's nursery manager for 19 years. Before his death in 2007, Albright pioneered propagation methods for many plants native to the Northwest.

February 2010: Construction begins on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe fish hatchery. Located on the tribal reservation six miles west of Port Angeles, the hatchery will serve as a freshwater refuge to maintain existing Elwha River fish stocks during dam removal, and will produce coho, pink and chum salmon as well as steelhead.

April 2010: National Park Service issues solicitation notice for removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks joins NPS, city and tribal leaders and members of the public for a dedication ceremony recognizing completion of the Elwha Water Facilities and Port Angeles Water Treatment Plant.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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