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Elwha River Restoration Project: Economic Analysis Final Technical Report
Philip A Meyer, Richard Lichtkoppler, Robert Hamilton, Charles Borda, David Harpman, and Pauul Engel
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC Riverside, Library, Water Resources Collections and Archives
Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information (CDRI)
Rights Information
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Scope/Content: Abstract: This analysis compares four project alternatives to "No Action" discounting future benefits and costs from zero to 7 percent. The alternatives are: -Retain Elwha and Glines Canyon dams with fishery mitigation. -Remove Elwha dam and retain Glines Canyon dam. -Remove Glines Canyon dam and retain Elwha dam. -Remove both dams. Costs substantially exceed benefits for the first three of these options - where limited benefits accrue to fisheries, tourism or recreation with one or two dams left in-river, while costs are substantial. Benefits associated with the removal of both dams are estimated to exceed costs by at least $25.2 billion. While net revenues to recreation, tourism and commercial fishing businesses are significant, the largest part of these estimated benefits are non-market values of the United States residents associated with removal of the two dams. If the non-market component of benefits is valued at only one cent on the dollar, total benefits still exceed costs for the two dam removal alternative. These findings are consistent with conclusions concerning impact on Tribal culture and material circumstances. The Elwha Valley is teh homeland for members of the Lower Elwha S'Klallam Tribe. The Elwha and Glines dams preempt fisheries secured by ancestors of the Tribe in its 1855 Treaty with the United States at Point No Point. Of the alternatives considered, only removal of noth dams will have a substantial beneficial effect on Tribal culture and on presently adverse Tribal material circumstances. It is presently estimated that between $50 million and $70 million plus a $29.5 milliion acquisition cost would be spent to remove both dams. These expenditures are expected to generate between $40 million and $55 million in business activity in Clallam County over the 10 year period of deconstruction and river restoration - generating between $21 million and $29 million of personal income and 760 to 1,000 total jobs. Within ten years of removal of the two dams, it is estimated that additional visits by recreators and tourists to see the restored river system will generate increased spending in Clallam County of $28.5 million per year - and support 446 additional local jobs. A summary of project net economic benefits and costs, discounted at 3 percent, is provided on the following page.
Scope/Content: Dam type: concrete
Scope/Content: Dam type: gravity
Scope/Content: Height: 108 feet.
Scope/Content: Date constructed: 1913. Date removed: 2011.
Legal and policy
Dam retirement
Elwha, WA

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