Some activists believe there is no such thing as a good dam, that we should destroy all dams to restore fish runs, no questions asked.
A more balanced approach would be identifying dams we can live with, and dams we can live without.
When the Elwha Dam was completed in 1913, people cared more about electrifying the Olympic Peninsula than protecting migrating salmon. After all, salmon were plentiful and electricity was the force driving economic growth.
But the dam denied salmon and steelhead access to their traditional spawning grounds about 50 miles upriver.
Last year, all that began to change. Both the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams were demolished with the hope that the fish will return.
A similar story unfolded last year when the Condit Dam was breached, opening miles of old spawning streams on the upper White Salmon River in the Columbia River Gorge.
While dam busting has its place, it is only one option.
For example, the Condit Dam was owned by PacifiCorp, as are the Merwin, Yale and Swift dams on the north fork of the Lewis River. Even though they are owned and operated by the same company, their situations are very different.
The Lewis River dams were constructed between 1931 and 1958 with no fish passages. As part of the new 50 year operating license, PacifiCorp agreed to spend $120 million to return fish runs above the Swift, the upper most of the trio.