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Squaxin Island Tribe, Washington

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The dam on Goldsborough Creek is history, and few are mourning its demise. The nearby Squaxin pressed for years for what has become a $4.5 million project. Tribes, environmentalists, a timber company and government officials praise removal of the Mason County dam, the first almost exclusively for environmental restoration. 'There's really no controversy because the dam has outlived its usefulness,' said Mike Padilla, the project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers. 'And, everyone is motivated to get rid of it for fish passage.' The 35-foot dam, now owned by Simpson Timber Co., was built in 1921 to provide electricity and impound water. It hasn't produced electricity for years, and when high water in the mid-1990s destroyed the pipe system, it became a liability, a spokesman said. Simpson teamed with state and federal governments to tear down the dams with Simpson paying about a sixth of the cost. 'The Squaxin have been key in making Goldsborough happen,' said Shawn Cantrell, regional director of Friends of the Earth. 'The tribe was an early and vocal advocate for restoring that stream and its salmon runs.' The creek should be running free again by fall providing 12 miles of prime habitat for coho, chum, steelhead and cutthroat.