Great opinion article by Matt Weiser in the San Francisco Chronicle that highlights concerns shared by CalTrout over the future of America’s rivers and the upcoming appointments for the Federal Energy Regulations Committee (FERC).
The FERC appointments will have huge implications for our work on the Klamath, McCloud, Eel, and the Santa Clara Rivers, to name a few, all which have hydro-power dams that affect water flows and fish passage. FERC is the responsible agency for issuing hydro-power licenses, which have up to 50 year terms. As dams come up for relicensing, FERC must consult with natural resource agencies in preparing license applications to ensure that “equal consideration” is given to recreational, environmental, and conservation uses of a river. For example, installing a fish ladder, and in some cases even removing dams, to help native steelhead move past the facility on their way to upstream spawning and spawning areas. Unfortunately, the environmental progress we’ve seen across many relicensed dam projects may soon be halted as priorities under the new administration shift. Rather than fish ladders, less-efficient methods may be used in place, such as the “trap-and-haul” system where fish are transported upstream around the dam in tanker trunks or even no consideration for fish passage at all.
Read on for Weiser’s full story.
Dams, fish, and kayakers must share our rivers, by Matt Weiser