PacifiCorp, the parent company of Pacific Power, has signed over 400 acres of land along the Hood River to the Columbia Land Trust and Hood River County, a final step after the utility took down Powerdale dam in 2010. The land runs 3 1/2 miles directly along the river from the former dam site to the city of Hood River, providing habitat for salmon, steelhead, trout, eagles, osprey and other wildlife. The land trust will control the less-developed middle 299 acres, with the county focusing on 101 acres at both ends of the corridor. Dam removal has made the river stretch more important for chinook and coho salmon listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, according to land trust officials.
Plans call for enhancing habitat, respecting tribal fishing rights and improving recreation access on the river section, popular with anglers, hikers, swimmers and kayakers.