Miles Lost Miles Gained

Art and science combine to virtually restore lost rivers through digital maps, sculpture and intersecting tales of ecosystem destruction and restoration.

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Conniving farmers, dynamite, and floods: the story of how the Stuck River was lost.

Conniving farmers, dynamite, and floods: the story of how the Stuck River was lost.

 In my research I have found snippets of the story of how the Stuck River became the White River, and how the White River became the Green River but hadn’t seen the story authoritatively told until I came across this compilation of historical news clippings by the White River Valley Museum. Fascinating stuff. It takes decades to realize how pivotal some events can be. The shift of the White River into the Stuck dewatered the White River through Auburn, leaving the Duwamish river basin with one less river and almost 500 square miles less to drain. This took care of at least one third of the flood problem for folks along the former White River in King County in Kent, Auburn, Tukwila, and Seattle, a boon to agriculture. At the time the river was shifted, and for the next decade or so, the focus was on how to create a larger river channel for the relocated White River through the Stuck valley, and how to make the Puyallup River channel large enough to take all the extra water as well. Seems like a good example of a threshold event to me. (image White River Valley Museum)