Presentation Title

The Effects of the Libby Dam on the Kootenay Region

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

In 1972, the US Army Corps of Engineers built a green dam on the Kootenay River in Libby, Montana. The Libby Dam Project is an achievement of both technology and international cooperation between the United Stated and Canada, while maintaining the natural environment and the important history of the Kootenay Region. As environmental awareness grew, the plans for the Libby Dam began to change to merge with the surrounding natural environment, building a relationship between the Libby Dam and the Kootenays. Once the dam became fully operational, it created the Koocanusa Reservoir on Kootenay River. The Libby Dam is one of many dams created to help control the flow of the Columbia River Basin in both the United States and in Canada. The purpose of this poster is to consider the effects that the Libby Dam has had on the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere in the Kootenay Region. The Libby Dam is still considered an international achievement today because of everything good and bad that it has done for both Canada and the United States. The dam can be considered a positive feedback mechanism because the surrounding ecosystem is in disequilibrium and conditions continue to worsen due to the dam – for example, the complete loss of big game in the area and a major loss of fish species. Another example of a negative impact is the pumping of harmful gasses into the atmosphere. The dam is a representation of a dynamic equilibrium with the tipping point being the day the dam became fully operational. Now that the effects of the dam have taken place it will be almost impossible for the Kootenays to go back to the way they were. The Libby Dam has successfully helped to control the water in the Columbia Basin, but over time the dam has changed the appearance, water system, activities, and climate in the Kootenay Region.

Department

Geography and Environmental Studies

Faculty Advisor

Tom Waldichuk

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The Effects of the Libby Dam on the Kootenay Region

In 1972, the US Army Corps of Engineers built a green dam on the Kootenay River in Libby, Montana. The Libby Dam Project is an achievement of both technology and international cooperation between the United Stated and Canada, while maintaining the natural environment and the important history of the Kootenay Region. As environmental awareness grew, the plans for the Libby Dam began to change to merge with the surrounding natural environment, building a relationship between the Libby Dam and the Kootenays. Once the dam became fully operational, it created the Koocanusa Reservoir on Kootenay River. The Libby Dam is one of many dams created to help control the flow of the Columbia River Basin in both the United States and in Canada. The purpose of this poster is to consider the effects that the Libby Dam has had on the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere in the Kootenay Region. The Libby Dam is still considered an international achievement today because of everything good and bad that it has done for both Canada and the United States. The dam can be considered a positive feedback mechanism because the surrounding ecosystem is in disequilibrium and conditions continue to worsen due to the dam – for example, the complete loss of big game in the area and a major loss of fish species. Another example of a negative impact is the pumping of harmful gasses into the atmosphere. The dam is a representation of a dynamic equilibrium with the tipping point being the day the dam became fully operational. Now that the effects of the dam have taken place it will be almost impossible for the Kootenays to go back to the way they were. The Libby Dam has successfully helped to control the water in the Columbia Basin, but over time the dam has changed the appearance, water system, activities, and climate in the Kootenay Region.