Skip to comments.Four Klamath River Dams May Be Removed to Benefit Salmon
Posted on 11/20/2008 1:37:30 AM PST by calcowgirl
NEVADA CITY, California, November 19, 2008 (ENS) - Four dams on the Klamath River that have blocked salmon runs upstream to their spawning areas may be removed in the year 2020 under an historic agreement among federal, state and corporate parties.
Dam removal will re-open over 300 miles of habitat for the Klamath's salmon and steelhead populations and eliminate water quality problems such as toxic algae blooms caused by the reservoirs.
The federal government, the state of California, the state of Oregon and the PacifiCorp electric utility Thursday announced an Agreement in Principle to remove the four dams as part of a broader effort to restore the river and revive its ailing salmon and steelhead runs and aid fishing, tribal and farming communities.
The agreement is intended to guide the development of a final settlement agreement scheduled to be signed in June 2009.
"This is a historic announcement and the culmination of years of hard work from the numerous negotiators from the federal government and the states of California and Oregon, and PacifiCorp representatives who have worked toward a common goal of how best to protect the uniqueness of this region," said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.
"We have agreed to a path forward that will protect fish, PacifiCorp customers and the local cultures and communities in the two-state Klamath River basin," Kempthorne said.
The United States will make a final determination by March 31, 2012, whether the benefits of dam removal will justify the costs, informed by scientific and engineering studies conducted in the interim, and in consultation with state, local, and tribal governments and other stakeholders.
At that point, the United States shall designate a non-federal dam removal entity to remove the dams or decline to remove the dams.
Rebecca Wodder, president of the nonprofit American Rivers who for years has urged removal of the dams, said, "We have not popped the champagne cork yet, but we have put a bottle on ice. The initial agreement is a huge step toward a healthy Klamath River Basin. American Rivers looks forward to working out remaining details in the final negotiations."
"This will be the world's biggest dam removal project. But ultimately, this isn't about tearing down dams. It is about restoring one of the most important rivers on the west coast, boosting local economies, and revitalizing fishing, tribal and farming communities."
The Klamath River was once the third most productive salmon river system in the United States. Today, due to the dams, poor water quality and too little water left in the river, the Klamath salmon runs have are less than 10 percent of their historic size. Some species, such as coho salmon, are now in such low numbers in the Klamath River that they are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called the agreement "the largest dam removal project ever in history that California, Oregon and our federal and private partners are undertaking to improve water quality, water supply and fish populations in the Klamath region."
"The health of the Klamath River is critical to the livelihood of numerous Northern California communities, and with this groundbreaking agreement we have established a framework for restoring an important natural resource for future generations," he said.
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski said, "While many months of work lay ahead, this historic agreement provides a path forward to achieve the largest river and salmon restoration effort ever undertaken in a way that's good for fish, PacifiCorp customers, and local communities and our sovereign tribes."
The Klamath Tribes, along with the Karuk and Yurok tribes of California have for years sought removal of the dams.
"With Oregon's best interests in mind, it is with great pride that I will be taking the first step in implementing this agreement by offering legislation to support the dam decommissioning and removal process," Kulongoski said.
Assuming a final agreement is reached next year and pending congressional approval, PacifiCorp will set aside millions of dollars for immediate environmental improvements. The funds would be used to implement numerous measures that will enhance habitat, improve water quality, increase fish populations, and benefit fisheries management in the basin.
"This careful effort to balance the complex needs of numerous interests within the community is exactly the type of approach PacifiCorp takes every time we sit down to the settlement table," said Greg Abel, PacifiCorp chairman and chief executive.
"This flexible framework ensures that our customers will be protected at every step along the way, while remaining consistent with our strong commitment to respecting the environment. We will continue to work diligently with everyone at the table, including the irrigators, environmentalists, the tribes and all local elected officials with the goal of reaching a final dam removal agreement that is in the economic interests of PacifiCorp customers."
Wodder says PacifiCorp's four dams produce only a nominal amount of power, which can be replaced using renewables and efficiency measures, without contributing to global warming.
A study by the California Energy Commission and the Department of the Interior found that removing the dams and replacing their power would save PacifiCorp customers up to $285 million over 30 years.
PacifiCorp agrees to contribute as much as $200 million to cover the cost of removing its four dams and restoring the river. Dam removal funds would be obtained from ratepayers in Oregon and California before removal begins. The impact to customer bills will be less than one percent.
If the costs of dam removal exceed PacifiCorp's contribution, California and Oregon together would contribute up to $250 million. Current estimates of dam removal costs range between $75 million and $200 million.
How will this effect Bigfoot?
Let me guess... we are going to remove electric generation plants with nothing to replace the power loss right?
If so, this is essentially one leftist action that is going to defeat other leftist actions. We want to get off foreign oil. We want to go clean energy production. And now we’re poised to destroy clean energy production.
If this is a good idea, why not remove Hover dam too? I mean let’s get back to nature folks.
What a pack of lies.
“PacifiCorp agrees to contribute as much as $200 million to cover the cost of removing its four dams and restoring the river. ... The impact to customer bills will be less than one percent.”
Slightly off topic but this quote or one like it shows up daily in the media to wit: an expense to a company shows up in the price to the consumer. And yet the average Leftist continues to scream that taxing business is the way to Nirvana. Why is it so hard for these people to understand that taxing business does not (necessarily) reduce profits but it certainly does increase prices.
Ironic because most of them had been built for recreational purposes over a century ago before water parks and home swimming pools.
Another example of government for the rich and by the rich.
Now that we've elected the bastards into office for another two years, they're telling us the tax money they're doling out to the rich isn't our money !!!
Where's Thomas Jefferson when we really need him !!!
"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his father has acquired too much, in order to spare to others who (or whose fathers) have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, "to guarantee to everyone a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
Thomas Jefferson, at http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/taxes/ustax.html
2020. Is that a joke? Hmmm, let’s see, by 2020 all the farms will have failed, they hope.
The real reason that the Salmon are declining is that the local Indian tribes are allowed to use gill nets at the mouth of the river. They claim it as an ‘ancestral right’ to harvest the Salmon as the forefathers did. The problem is that they do not use the same method of weaving tree roots etc. together to make nets then swim across the river dragging the heavy net risking being drowned in the rapid current. The new method is to back up their new 4WD to the river's edge and shoot a rocket-propelled net to the other side, sit down and have some beers and winch the net in at the end of the day. Then off to market, sell your take and go to McDonalds and stop for more beers. Few Salmon escape this high-tech manner of “fishing”, therefore fewer make it to their spawning areas.
Besides the obvious, these enviral fish idiots will be going Duh when we have a drought year like this past one.
Then, the Klamath will be a dusty highway during the no rain summer and fall.
Any smolts and a half pounders will be dead if they are still in the river system.
Of course if the river is dry, no Salmon or Steelhead will be able to come up the Klamath until we have some heavy rains in the fall or winter.
Without the dams holding the previous winter run off, there will be basically no water flowing down the Klamath during dry years.
Then the overweight salmon killing seals will have to go on welfare and salmon food stamps to keep from starving.
Of course the dam removal has nothing to do with protecting the salmon/steelhead.
The Green enviro whackos want to get rid of every rancher/farmer and professional guide/fisher downstream from the Klamath Lake to the Pacific Ocean.
The Spotted Owl BS got rid of the loggers and lumber people.
Now the Salmon BS will eliminate the farmers/ranchers and small communities down stream from Klamath Lake to the Pacific.
I believe that our Founding Fathers failed when they allowed so many Tories to escape. From those roots come our modern destroyer leftists.
I wonder if they calculated how much pollution would be generated by replacing this clean and reliable power source?
Although this does not effect the dam in Klamath where we fought our battle in 2001, this is a very bad deal and a very bad precedent.
They are taking clean, direct energy production out of the system with a whimsical promise that it will be replaced by "something" clean and efficient...but no direct info or plan to do so.
Fact is, the enviro nazis care less about US dependence on oil. They, their NGO patrners (who are tied at the hip to the United Nations), their liberal politician and judge enablers, and a (once again complicit MSM) want to see the US dependent and paying more for energy because, like the Obamanation stated...they believe that the rest of thw world will not put up with it and it fits their marxist agendas.
They have been talking of doing this same thing on the Snake River for years and this will embolden them to press all the harder for it.
Their "study" is more junk science like the one that called for the preservation of non-threatened (by any common sense and local knowledge standpoint) sucker fish in the Klamath Reservoir in 2001.
The book is available as a complete, professional Adobe PDF download, FREE to all Freepers AT THE LINK HERE
Jeff, just yesterday, they breached several of the levees of Klamath Lake. Blew them sky high. A ‘nature conservancy’ project.
Herald and News: Klamath Falls, Oregon > Front
Klamath Falls, Oregon Herald and News, newspaper online. ... Levees breached to help fish. Project will re-establish wetlands on the Williamson River Delta ...
“Let me guess... we are going to remove electric generation plants with nothing to replace the power loss right?”
You got it!
The madness continues.
See post 17
Yes it is, you liar.
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