'Return of the River' inspires hope for all rivers

"Return of the River" is a film about the world's largest river restoration, but more important it's a story about people and how their views can shift. Photo courtesy of the filmmakers.

Return of the River is a visually stunning film that leaves moviegoers with a distinct sense that they can make a difference for their home rivers.

IRU joined Save Our wild Salmon and Snake River Waterkeeper on Wednesday, Jan. 20, to screen the film at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise, where more than 100 local residents were treated to a well-told story about perseverance, dedication and the rebirth of a river that had been dammed for a century.

The film chronicles the history of the Olympic Peninsula, its early settlement by Europeans and subsequent development of its natural resources—including construction of Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. 

More importantly, though, the film chronicles the evolution of public opinion as it turned against the two dams. After a lengthy collaborative process, removal of the dams began in 2011. They are now the largest dams ever removed.

Here in Idaho there are things we can learn from the Elwha. That public opinion, first, matters and, second, can shift are chief among them. Idaho has nothing to lose and everything to gain by working toward removal of four outdated dams on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington state.

With this you can help. In late January, IRU began circulating a letter that we’ll send to the Idaho Legislature Feb. 28, but we hope that your signature will be part of it.

  • Please click here to read the letter and sign on to make a difference on behalf of the Snake River and Idaho's imperiled wild salmon.