Mainspring signs agreement in dam removal effort
After months of discussion and deliberation, Mainspring Conservation Trust and Northbrook Carolina Hydro II have signed an agreement allowing Mainspring to purchase the aging Ela Dam in Swain County — paving the way for dam removal efforts to progress.
Mainspring considers Ela Dam purchase
Franklin-based nonprofit Mainspring Conservation Trust will take the lead in efforts to remove 97-year-old Ela Dam if its board decides in favor of acquiring the 62-acre property now owned by Northbrook Hydro II.
Tribe votes no on Ela Dam removal
In a narrow vote June 2, the Cherokee Tribal Council voted against a resolution to pursue purchase and removal of the aged Ela Dam — despite a unanimous vote Feb. 3 to have the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lead a coalition to work toward dam removal and a unanimous vote from the Timber Committee May 16 to recommend the purchase resolution to Council.
Negotiations continue on Ela Dam removal
According to public documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a decision on whether to pursue removal of the Ela Dam in Swain County is coming up in the next month or so.
Tribe leads coalition to remove Ela Dam
What started as a groundswell of outrage over a massive sediment dump from Ela Dam in Swain County has become a united effort to get the nearly 100-year-old structure removed — supported by the company that owns it and led by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
‘Snuffed Out’: Unannounced dam release covers Oconaluftee in sediment
It was around 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4, when Ken Brown’s phone started lighting up with photo texts depicting a massive sediment load dropping into the Oconaluftee River below Ela Dam, also known as the Bryson Hydroelectric Project. Within half an hour, he was standing on the riverbank.