Conestoga Springtime
For the past 150 years, springtime on the Conestoga River has meant high volumes of water and flooding. As a consequence of land clearing throughout the watershed and especially in the headwaters, the river evolved from a docile and reliable stream to something far less benign. In the spring, it can become a raging monster when there was a sudden melt of the snowpack. But then it would nearly dry up in the summer months.
The construction of the Conestogo Dam in the 1950's greatly moderated these extremes, but the Conestoga River remains an ecologically damaged and dysfunctional version of its presettlement existence. These hydrological and ecological realities, however, continue to make an important--if not defining--contribution to its distinctive character.
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