Living Downstream

1024px John C Boyle Dam Gates OpenIn this podcast, “The Klamath Water Wars,” you heard about the battle over Klamath River dam removal. Although the dams were once an important energy source in the region, Native Americans want the dams gone so the salmon populations don’t continue to decline. Jim Carleton describes the conflict as fishermen fighting with farmers, farmers fighting with tribes, tribes fighting with everybody and everybody blaming everybody else for their problems. Although racism was an issue, the main conflict was the fight for water, as periodic droughts leave little water for both endangered fish species and agriculture. 

Record Searchlight, based in Redding, Calif., writes about the Trump administration’s recent withdrawal of support for the Klamath River dam removal. Originally, support for dam removal was agreed to by consensus during the Obama administration, but a spokesman for Klamath River Renewal Corp. emphasizes that it’s no longer important whether or not the current administration is enthusiastically supportive of removal, plans to remove the Klamath dams are still underway. 

[Image: John C. Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in southern Oregon. This is one of the dams scheduled for demolition within the next few years. Credit: Wikipedia/Bobjgalindo]

The Public Policy Institute of California wrote in June 2019 about the status of dam removal. Here, board president of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation Lester Snow answers questions about the Klamath River Dam removal and river restoration project. 

The Lost Coast Outpost, a news outlet in Humboldt County, describes the fight between Humboldt stakeholders over the Klamath dam removal. In addition, they provide a map showing the location of the Klamath River watershed along with several links to court rulings for the 15-year-long dispute over the Klamath River Hydroelectric Project

Another map of the Klamath River watershed demonstrating the Klamath River Renewal Corporation’s (KRRC) project vicinity map is provided by Klamath Falls News. The article also describes KRRC’s choice of construction firm Kiewit to execute dam removal and river restoration. 

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation provides a guide to the Klamath settlement agreements including the 2016 Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement (KPFA), Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (UKBCA). This podcast discusses the KBRA, which didn’t pass in Congress, and why it didn’t pass. However, the amended KHSA didn’t require Congressional approval. 

The California State Water Board provides the notice of availability and draft environmental impact report. The Water Board also provides information about the Lower Klamath Project water quality certification and California Environmental Quality Act process.

A quick guide to the resources linked on this page:

Environmental News

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