Dam removal is an important way to restore natural flows, habitat, and surrounding vegetation to rivers. Many dams in Vermont are long-standing, with a history of being used for industrial work or creation of recreational spaces such as fishing ponds or swimming holes, but projects like this allow for the passage of aquatic life and the restoration of rivers and their associated floodplains. The Pelletier Dam project has received its funding and permits, begun and nearly finished construction (or de-construction!), and is moving on to the revegetation and monitoring stage.
In this podcast, you can hear Karina Dailey, VNRC’s Restoration Ecologist, along with other guests Shawn Good (Vermont Fish & Wildlife), and Gabe Bolin (Stone Environmental), discuss the process and future plans for this site, learn more about the history of dams, the general goals and tools of dam removal and restoration, how native wildlife interacts with dams (both man-made and beaver-made), and how launching a massive removal project can face challenges but ultimately come through with exciting results.