Elwha dam project's history to be traced in Port Townsend talk tonight
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Eric Kessler
Photographer and naturalist Eric Kessler will present photos, such as this one of a Klallam woman watching dam removal on the Elwha River, at a lecture at the Cotton Building, 607 Water St. in Port Townsend, on Thursday.

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PORT TOWNSEND — Photographer and naturalist Eric Kessler will retrace the journey that led to the undamming of the Elwha River in a lecture tonight.

Kessler will present “The Ecological, Cultural and Political Significance of the Elwha Dam Removals” at 7 p.m. at the Cotton Building, 607 Water St.

The program free and open to the public, but a $5 donation is appreciated to help defray the costs.

Kessler's slide show and talk, which is sponsored by the Natural History Society of the Jefferson Land Trust, will offer an overview of the ecological, cultural and political issues surrounding the $325 million Elwha River Restoration Project, the largest dam-removal project of its kind in the nation to date.

“An amazing collage of circumstances, spanning four presidential administrations and 18 congressional appropriations bills, came together to allow this landmark event to happen,” Kessler said.

A wilderness explorer and traveler, Kessler's career as a freelance photographer spans 25 years.

His natural history photos, shot in dozens of locations around the world, have appeared in a wide range of publications.

A longtime resident of Washington, he has photographed the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula for nearly two decades, most recently documenting the process of removing the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams and the restoration of the river.

He currently splits his time between the San Juan Islands and the North Olympic Peninsula.

Last modified: April 10. 2013 5:27PM
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