The Army Corps of Engineers' Short-Term Response to
the Eruption of Mount St. Helens
by William F. Willingham
William F. Willingham examines the human and institutional responses of the Army Corps of Engineers in the wake of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The 24-megaton blast, which sent a plume of volcanic ash 14 miles into the atmosphere, scattered an estimated 3 billion cubic yards of debris over the adjacent landscapes of Oregon and Washington. Mud and pyroclastic flows deposited massive amounts of earth and debris into the Columbia River and its tributaries, drastically reducing channel capacities. The Corps was charged with managing the restoration of the federal-disaster area and protecting the economic and private interests of the region's inhabitants.
William F. Willingham served as a historian for the Portland District and North Pacific Division of the Army Corps of Engineers from 1981 to 1996. He has published several histories of Corps districts in addition to Water Power in the "Wilderness": A History of the Bonneville Lock and Dam. He also co-authored The Classic Houses of Portland Oregon, 1850-1950, and recently published Starting Over: Community Building on the Eastern Oregon Frontier. Currently he is a consulting historian, focusing on water resources development, cultural resources management, and architectural and community history.
Who's In Charge of Fishing?
by Fronda Woods
Fronda Woods writes: "under our federal system the states, not the federal government, have the primary authority to protect, preserve, and regulate the use of fish and wildlife." In crafting the 1855 Stevens-Palmer treaties — federal laws that preempt state laws — Pacific Northwest Indians reserved the right to fish in their "usual and accustomed places," bringing to the fore the question of which government, state or federal, regulates that fishing. Woods explores the political, cultural, and economic legacies of the 1855 treaties underscored by 150 years of legal history. Drawing from an enormous catalogue of court cases and legal documents, Woods details the protracted and frequently controversial contest over Indian fishing rights.
Fronda Woods, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is an Assistant Attorney General with the Washington Attorney General's Office, where she specializes in Indian law and fisheries. She represents the State of Washington in United States v. Oregon and United States v. Washington and is a contributor to the Conference of Western Attorneys General, American Indian Law Deskbook, 3rd ed. (University Press of Colorado, 2004).