Translating a 3-dimensional world onto a 2-dimensional plane has always challenged cartographers to choose among different representations - appropriately called “projections” - that serve the map’s intended uses and reflect the map-maker’s perspective or intentions
Over 400 dams impound the Columbia and its tributaries. Water flows freely for just a little over 50 miles of the non-tidal Columbia’s 745-mile length in the United States. Only two of its major tributaries - the John Day river in Oregon and the Salmon River in Idaho - remain undammed.
The Columbia River was once one of the world’s most productive salmon systems. Annual runs of 10–30 million fish were defining events for all manner of life in the Pacific Northwest. Now, their absence shapes the region. About 60% of the Columbia’s historic salmon habitat has been completely blocked by dams constructed with no fish passage.
Inspired by agricultural interests, hatcheries were both response to and rationalization of the extensive hydropower development in the Columbia. Today, over 170 hatchery programs mass-produce over 80% of Columbia basin salmon instead of fish spawning naturally in the wild.