Dam the Columbia: Enter the Corps of Engineers
The Umatilla Rapids Dam will come to the front if the subject of Columbia River development is handled in a spirit of sanity.
E.B. Aldrich, editor, East Oregonian, 1931.
The Umatilla Rapids Association secured appropriations from the State of Oregon and the federal government for a survey of the rapids site. Senator McNary and Congressman Sinnott of Oregon introduced the Umatilla Rapids Bill into Congress in 1926. But, dispersing funds halted when Congress ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to survey the entire Columbia River.
The survey resulted in the army's "308 reports," proposing a series of ten dams for comprehensive development of the Columbia River from the Cascade Rapids where Bonneville Dam now sits to the Snake River. Local businessmen in communities near proposed dams worked to obtain funding. Businessman Elmer Dodd organized the Tri-State Development League, a forerunner to the Inland Empire Waterways Association which included all water organizations from Lewiston to Portland.