For Immediate Release
April 6, 2016
Steve Rothert, American Rivers, 530-277-0448
Curtis Knight, California Trout, 530-859-1872
Lowell Ashbaugh, International Federation of Fly Fishers, 530-277-6722
Glen Spain, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Institute for Fisheries Resources, 541-689-2000
Brian Johnson, Trout Unlimited, 415-385-0796
General inquiries: Nina Erlich-Williams, 541-230-1973 or 415-577-1153
CONSERVATIONISTS, ANGLERS AND COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN UNITED IN SUPPORT OF KLAMATH DAM REMOVAL
Revised KHSA means renewed focus on opportunities for broad environmental
and economic recovery in drought-ravaged Klamath Basin
Klamath, Calif. – Today in this remote, rural community near the mouth of the Klamath River, representatives from the States of California and Oregon, the federal government and dam owner PacifiCorp signed an amendment to the historic Klamath Basin Hydroelectric Agreement. The amended KHSA provides a path forward for the removal of four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River. At the same time, conservation and fishing groups and agricultural leaders also recommitted to a basin-wide solution for water sharing, water supply infrastructure, and habitat restoration with a new Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement.
The KHSA was developed in partnership with the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA). The KHSA, KBRA and a third companion agreement were conceived as a broad set of agreements aimed at providing water-sharing balance in the Klamath Basin. When Congress failed to authorize the agreements before the KBRA expired at the end of 2015, PacifiCorp and other partners sought a path forward for removing the dams that would not require Congressional action. The Klamath River was historically the third most productive watershed for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast. Dam removal will open up more than 400 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for fish.
American Rivers, California Trout, the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Institute for Fisheries Resources, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Trout Unlimited released the following statements in response to the signing of the amended KHSA and Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement.
From Steve Rothert, California Director, American Rivers
“We have a lot of work to do before celebrating reopening the Klamath River in 2020, but this is a major step toward what will be the most significant dam removal and restoration project in the US. We also recommit ourselves to the comprehensive solutions forged in 2010 with tribal governments, agricultural communities.”
From Curtis Knight, Executive Director, California Trout
“Salmon and steelhead will finally have the chance to go home after decades of blocked passage caused by these aging dams. But what’s still unclear is what they will find when they get there. California Trout remains committed to working with all of the settlement parties to support both local economic activity and essential habitat restoration along streams and creeks throughout the Klamath Basin.”
From Glen Spain, NW Regional Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA)
“The four Klamath Dams slated for removal (which have no fish passage) have been disastrous for west coast salmon fisheries — and salmon-related jobs — over more than 700 miles of Northern California and Oregon coastline. Plus, the dams, some more than 100 years old, would cost far more than they would be worth to fix them up to modern standards, and so are functionally and economically obsolete. Although there are many other problems still to address in the Klamath Basin, this landmark Agreement moves the region much further along toward a major river restoration effort that will recapture thousands of lost jobs, bring greater economic stability to the region, and end nearly 100 years of bitter conflict.”
From Lowell Ashbaugh, Conservation Chair, Northern California Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers
“Restoring the Klamath River and its legendary runs of steelhead and salmon is one of the best things we can do for future generations of anglers. We strongly support the amended KHSA, and will continue to work to bring about a comprehensive water solution for the Klamath Basin that leaves no one behind and brings the Klamath River back to life.”
From Brian J. Johnson, California and Klamath Director, Trout Unlimited
“Today we reached a milestone on the long road to redemption for the Klamath River. Tomorrow we’ll get back to work to find equally effective ways to move forward on water, power, and habitat restoration with our partners in tribal governments and irrigated agriculture.”