On the Trail of Ancient Man

This is a forum for trip reports that pre-date the Portland Hikers forum, trail photos from pre-digital era, or any other discussions that focus on trail history.
User avatar
drm
Posts: 4968
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: On the Trail of Ancient Man

Post by drm » April 19th, 2016, 12:14 pm

windmtnpete wrote:However, I just wonder what kind of world this would be if not for the power generated from the dams in the northwest. Would we have won World War II if not for the ship building in Puget Sound? The factories that built the weapons of war all depended on that power. The dams were perhaps the reason we don't all speak Japanese now. It would certainly be a much different Japan than what we see today..... it would be a much different world today if not for these dams.
Only two or three dams in the PNW were completed prior to WWII. I can't say how much harder it would have been to power the area with fossil fuels, but am pretty sure that the Japanese would not have occupied the West Coast. They really had no desire to. They wanted to push us back to Hawaii and leave the western Pacific to them. The same thing that China wants to do now. I've read that China has a goal of pushing the US Navy out of the western Pacific to Hawaii by mid-century, though of course they would never admit to that.

What dams have done is to provide cheap power, easy irrigation, and flood control. Undoubtedly the latter two have saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. Did people even understand the impact on salmon back then? Many smaller dams that may have been locally important a century ago are now being removed, but I doubt the large dams on the Columbia or Snake River will come down until such time as solar (with adequate storage) becomes mainstream.

User avatar
forester
Posts: 323
Joined: March 21st, 2012, 9:03 am
Location: Southern Oregon
Contact:

Re: On the Trail of Ancient Man

Post by forester » May 13th, 2016, 6:37 am

I wonder if Woody Guthrie might change a few lyrics on his Dam building songs if he knew what damage those damn dams created?
Whenever I have to do heavy duty yard work (clearing blackberry bushes on a steep slope behind the house...), I always end up listening to Woody Guthrie for whatever reason (or Rage Against the Machine when shtf). When those dam songs come on, I think the same thing as what you posted.

User avatar
windmtnpete
Posts: 188
Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:19 pm
Location: Nelson, BC Canada

Re: On the Trail of Ancient Man

Post by windmtnpete » May 22nd, 2016, 7:09 am

forester wrote:
I wonder if Woody Guthrie might change a few lyrics on his Dam building songs if he knew what damage those damn dams created?
Whenever I have to do heavy duty yard work (clearing blackberry bushes on a steep slope behind the house...), I always end up listening to Woody Guthrie for whatever reason (or Rage Against the Machine when shtf). When those dam songs come on, I think the same thing as what you posted.
It's like being a Monday morning quarterback now (coulda, shoulda, woulda). It's important to remember what people were faced with back then..... survival. History reveals that there was a major power shortage in Tacoma about 10 years prior to WWII. In 1934 "the new deal" set up the larger projects (Bonneville and Grand Coulee) and Bonneville was online by 1937, GC by 1942. These power sources certainly helped in the war effort.

However, there were other issues that were ignored (spawning salmon and displacing many native tribal peoples when their ancestral lands were partially flooded)..... otherwise these dams might be considered a complete success.
“Not all who wander are lost.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

User avatar
kepPNW
Posts: 6281
Joined: June 21st, 2012, 9:55 am
Location: Salmon Creek

Re: On the Trail of Ancient Man

Post by kepPNW » May 22nd, 2016, 7:34 am

windmtnpete wrote:However, there were other issues that were ignored (spawning salmon and displacing many native tribal peoples when their ancestral lands were partially flooded)..... otherwise these dams might be considered a complete success.
As long as Celilo Falls is underwater, it's wanton environmental vandalism of the highest order.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

(Photos · PortlandHikers)

User avatar
windmtnpete
Posts: 188
Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:19 pm
Location: Nelson, BC Canada

Re: On the Trail of Ancient Man

Post by windmtnpete » May 24th, 2016, 6:47 am

kepPNW wrote:
windmtnpete wrote:However, there were other issues that were ignored (spawning salmon and displacing many native tribal peoples when their ancestral lands were partially flooded)..... otherwise these dams might be considered a complete success.
As long as Celilo Falls is underwater, it's wanton environmental vandalism of the highest order.

Not only a crime against the environment, it was a crime against humanity. I can't imagine the sense of loss experienced by the native tribal peoples in the area. This is a painful scar on the landscape AND the people... something that will never be undone.

I'm just glad they recently took down the American flag on The Dalles dam.... such hypocrisy considering the crimes the dam inflicted upon the area. However, America continues to drift further and further away from democracy and closer and closer to it's primary imperialistic place in the world.
“Not all who wander are lost.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Post Reply