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A Research Guide for Agricultural & Food Systems 401

Project Goals

Partnering Organization: NWFCS (Colfax)

Project Goals:

  • Evaluate the impact on wheat industry/growers in Eastern WA and Northern ID if the Snake River Dams were removed
  • How would the region efficiently transport their grain to the export market and what would the cost increase be? 
  • Would the removal of the dams also impact other products such as fuel and fertilizer?

A Note About Finding Resources

Among many different types of research resources, this project is going to require finding data pertaining to economic and environmental impacts of dam removal.

Listed below are resources that might assist you with this project. This list is by no means meant to be an exhaustive. Rather it is meant to get you thinking about what sort of resources you might need and where they may come from.

If you have any question, please email me.

Understanding the Snake River Dams and Their Impact

Below are some resources regarding understanding the history and contexts of the Snake River Dams

The Seattle TImes' (2020) "Salmon People: A tribe’s decades-long fight to take down the Lower Snake River dams and restore a way of life" article provides a detailed cultural and economic history of Snake River dams. 

The Yale University School for the Environment published an article title "On the Northwest’s Snake River, the Case for Dam Removal Grows" which details both the economic and cultural impacts of the dams and their removal. 

The private company, EcoNorthwest (2019) created an interesting report titled "Lower Snake River Dams Economic Tradeoffs of Removal." This report details economic, transportation, and other effects that the Snake River dams as well as the impact of their potential removal. 

Find Data & Information About Previous Dam Removals

The USDA and Forest Services have produced extensive resources for understanding the effects of dam removal. Below are some reports that may be helpful.

USDA and Forest Service (2017) Liberated rivers: lessons from 40 years of dam removal. More than 1,100 dams have been removed in the United States in the past 40 years, and more than half of these were demolished in the past decade. This trend is likely to continue as dams age, no longer serve useful purposes, or limit ecological functions. Factors such as dam size, landscape and channel features, and reservoir sediment characteristics differ widely, so dam removal projects must be evaluated individually to determine the best approach. Stakeholders need trusted empirical findings to help them make critical decisions about removal methods, how to recognize and avoid potential problems, and what to expect in terms of geomorphic and ecological recovery.

USDA & the Pacific Research Station list of reports regarding dam removal. 

There has also been numerous articles written regarding the impact of the removal of dams -whether that be ecological or economical. Take a look in the WSU Libraries' catalog to find such resources.

Find Newspapers and Trade Publications

For this project you will need to find resources in newspapers and trade publications. 

Helpful Industry Resources, newspapers, and trade publications.

  • Nexis Uni - Provides information on U.S. and international private and public companies. Info includes company/non-profits organization descriptions, size, locations, history, and more. You can also search across newspapers and trade publications. 
  • Business Source Complete - Allows you to search company and industry information across popular press, trade journals, product reviews, and much more. Also provides information regarding company and industry profiles. This may be helpful when for searching for information regarding other non-profit organizations.
  • Newspaper Source - This database provides selected full text coverage for 245 newspapers, newswires and other sources. 
  • Seattle Times (1896-1984) (Readex) - Provides full text coverage of the Seattle Times, a major Northwest newspaper, from 1896 to 1984. Currently contains material back to 1900, including articles and advertisements.

For more in-depth information regarding corporate research, take a look at the Company Research Library Guide. 

See also WSU News and Newspaper Research Guide

Find Scholarly Resources

Much of this project is going to involve finding scholarly research regarding a myriad of topics. Although you may find this research across many different resources, 

Useful Scholarly Databases:

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us