Humans arrived on the Columbia Plateau, encompassing the watershed of the Columbia River and its major tributaries, about 12,000 years ago, making the region one of the longest-inhabited in the Western Hemisphere. ... ...these first arrivals "encountered a virgin land filled with herds of mammoth, mastodon, giant bison, ground sloths, and mastodon". (Keyser, qtd. in Durbin 15)
Traditionally, the native peoples of the lower Columbia River used salmon extensively; their diet also included many native plants gathered throughout the region. Wapato, camas, nuts, and a wide variety of berries, as well as wild game, rounded their diet and provided additional trade items. (Paddles and Paths Interpretive Sign, Bridal Veil State Scenic Viewpoint)
Langille, W. A. and S. H. Boardman. "State Parks Historical Sketches: Columbia Gorge State Parks." OPRD / Oregon State Archives. 1946. PDF.http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/doc/records/state/odot/pdfs/columbia_gorge.pdf
Before white settlement and the arrival of fish wheels, fish canneries, and dams, annual runs of Columbia River Salmon were estimated at 16 million. Annual runs have now diminished to an estimated one million. (Durbin 15)
Paddles and Paths Interpretive Sign, Bridal Veil State Scenic Viewpoint
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4. History >