In what environmentalists hope is the beginning of a major trend, 60 dams across the U.S. are slated for demolition this year and hundreds more are targeted for removal. Last week, for example, Portland General Electric signed a deal to remove the Marmot Dam on the Sandy River in Oregon and a smaller dam on the Little Sandy. Typically, dams being dismantled are no longer producing power, but the two dams in Oregon are fully functioning hydroelectric facilities. PGE says the dams, which were built in 1912, no longer make economic or environmental sense. “This is a major development in the environmental history of the West,” said Eric Eckl of American Rivers. “They are not only taking down the dams, but restoring habitat for threatened salmon and steelhead.”
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