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U.S. awards dam removal contract for Elwha, Glines Canyon

The National Park Service has awarded Montana-based Barnard Construction Company Inc. a $26.9 million contract to remove the 12-MW Elwha and 12-MW Glines Canyon dams from the Elwha River in Washington.

The Park Service, part of the Interior Department, invited firms to an industry roundtable in February to help identify qualified contractors. The agency acquired the dams in 2000 from Daishowa America.

The federal government plans to remove the dams to restore salmon and trout runs in Olympic National Park. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration allotted $2 million to Elwha River floodplain restoration in Washington to restore 82 acres of floodplain in conjunction with plans to remove the dams from the park.

Congress passed the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act in 1992, requiring the Secretary of Interior to restore the Elwha River ecosystem and native anadromous fisheries. Interior determined that dam removal is the only option that would accomplish full restoration. The proposed project also is to protect and restore treaty fishing rights for affected Indian tribes.

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